The advert – avoid these mistakes & categories

The “Tombstone” ad

Following on from my post yesterday on the merits of advertising, I thought it was worth pointing out some of the traps that professional services organisations can fall into when advertising.

Firstly, most of the adverts I see are all very similar and more often than not, of poor or average quality. A lot of small businesses fall into the trap of buying advertising space and letting the media house that is selling the space do the design as it comes as “part of the service or inclusive of the price” – the deal clincher for the sales person. Be very carefull as most media houses are not your brand custodian and can make a real hash of your advert.

Continuing on that theme, when putting together your advert, categories to avoid falling into are :

  • The “Tombstone” ad – black & white, obituary-style. Yuk!
  • The “Boring” ad- offering nothing new, nothing enticing; blah, blah, blah…..snore!
  • The “Over scripted” ad – reams & reams of small print, cramming in as much as possible.
  • The “Pompous” ad – this is where the organisation simply boasts. i.e ‘..we’re number 1 in’ or ‘..we’re the leader in the UK..’
  • The “Feature rather than benefit drive” ad – ‘..we do this’, ‘we offer that’ rather than ‘..we can help you for this’ or ‘..we can do this better, cheaper, faster that others….’

And finally……….

  • The “Metaphor” ad – the horrible ad with a jigsaw with a piece missing or the staircase visual  with the heading -‘..we can get you to the top’

My suggestion is to ALWAYS try and promote how what you are advertising can add value. After all, would any of the advert types I have listed above really influence a sophisticated buyer of professional services to change his/her decision?!

I am a big fan of the line “people buy people” (see my website) yet not enough people seem willing to get that personal chemistry across via an advertisement.

More advice to follow folks…..

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