How To Stop Marketing From Getting Mangled

It seems everyday a new marketing trick appears promising to possess the keys to the kingdom.

However more breakthroughs are usually found in mastering the unchanged, what Bill Bernbach calls simple, timeless, human truths.

In this post you will learn two of these timeless truths that are so simple, yet so powerful.

Using them is the difference between marketing becoming mangled or feeling like you’re playing this game in easy mode.

First, advertising should talk to each person individually not as a group.

Second, advertising should talk directly to an avatar or ideal prospect not a general person.

I have found anytime I violate one of them results start running rocky.

Avoiding The Butchers Block

It’s easy to slip into thinking because a piece of marketing is being viewed by thousands or millions that we should try to talk to all of them at once, as you would a crowd.

The problem is advertising is consumed by prospects individually. 

Which means in order to attract and bond with your customers, your advocates, or true believers we should approach them as a person not just an eyeball.

Jack Daniel’s is a brand which knows how to do this.

There is a reason these personal ads have stood the test of time as one of the longest running campaigns in history…

Next time you are waiting for the tube to appear see if you can find one.

They make you feel like the advert was written for you – personally.

But even more importantly is they know who they are speaking to.

Which links into the second point that all communication should talk directly to an avatar or ideal prospect not the general population.

We’re not politicians pandering to large audiences with fear of offending people who may not get it.

In your marketing, especially copywriting, never be afraid to say with clarity and boldness exactly what you believe in to the people your products best serve.

Tapping in and talking to the white hot centre of your audience sets you apart from the armies of same-same competitors who try to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.

People want to feel like someone understands them.

This comes from doing deep research on the target market and finding the real answers to questions like:

  • What are their interests, personality traits, fears, emotional triggers.
  • What types of marketing angles may work best towards this person.
  • What is their awareness of the solution.
  • What websites do they visit, what social sites, where do they get their news from, who would they follow on twitter or instagram?
  • What products or services (not yours) do you believe they are purchasing or are interested in purchasing?

Once you can visually imagine who you are creating an ad for it makes it so much easier to capture and convert their attention.

Dave Trott used to ride the circle line, looking out for the avatars his adverts are targeting and ask ‘How would I have to advertise to make that person become engaged?’.

Internally at Agora they take this one step further by placing on the desk of every copywriter a small toy figure that looks exactly like the type of person they are marketing to.

Then every time you create campaigns it’s a constant reminder to ask ‘what would I need to do to make ‘Grandma Jones’ stay engaged?’.

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