If you were writing an advertisement for a local newspaper, what are the key ingredients that should be included in the advertisement (and why) and what should be avoided (and why)?
The first thing to be clear about is if you are planning to boost your brand (Image advertising) or urging people to come in for a trial or purchase (Direct response advertising) - those are the two basic categories of advertising. I will in the following assume that we are talking about a direct response ad since that is the most common in our business.
The two main elements of an ad are the content and the form. Regarding the content start by accepting that you cannot educate people in ads unless you have millions to spend, all you can hope to achieve is capture attention and create interest so hopefully the reader will call up or come in for more, that's all. Try to answer implied questions.
What people want to know
- What you do
(problems you solve not credentials)
- Why should I choose you
(your Point Of Difference)
- How can I trust you
(do you care, are you my class ?)
Mainly judged by non-verbal style and....Look & Location
Be specific in the text. What is the benefit for the potential consumer - give one or two benefits in everyday English. Say as much as possible about yourself and your office and avoid talking too much about the product and its technicalities - most people don't get that.
If you are looking for action and traffic then remember to include an offer and a call-to-action. Just adding, ''Call us'' in front of a phone number increases responses with 40-50%.
The proven formula in direct response advertising was cornered many years ago by one of the old titans in marketing David Ogilvy and it goes like this (see illustration)
As Vice President of Marketing for Oticon, Inc., Peter Mark, M.D., has been instrumental in the development of the company's Human Link philosophy and in the global launch of DigiFocus and Digilife. Dr. Mark is the author of numerous articles and has lectured extensively on communications and marketing for health care professionals, especially on subjects pertaining to end user empowerment. Prior to joining Oticon, Dr. Mark was a practicing physician and also worked with several global pharmaceutical companies.
Click here to visit the Oticon website.