Do you know what makes your customer’s buy? Is it because your wiz-bang new telecommunication device has 64 Giga-bits of high rez dual-number crunching processor clocks? Or because they can swipe right while Snapchatting and riding in their Uber?

People buy for all kinds of reasons, but the only one you need to concern yourself is “What’s in it for me?” Nobody cares about you, your product or service… they care about how it is going to benefit them.

People buy speed, they buy pleasurable experiences, they want to feel part of something bigger… They buy for all manner of selfish emotional reasons beyond the logical reason why you think they should buy.

The first step in identifying how you’re going to compel your customer is to put yourself in their shoes. You must select one, specific target audience, and think about what’s in it for them.

Don’t focus on all the features that make your product great. Focus on highlighting all the benefits your customer will get having used your product.

Having purchased from you is a transformational event.

You need to identify where your target customer is in their mind before your product is introduced and focus on how your product will give them new superpowers after purchasing it.

When you try to convince your potential customer to buy based on features and price, you’re competing in a world of generic commodities. Someone will always be able to low ball your profit margins and fight over qualities which will be obsolete the second it leaves the showroom floor.

In order to show the difference between value and price so you can present your irresistible offer… You must be able to enter a conversation that is already going on in your prospective customer’s mind.

This is the first article in the series

Bait-and-switch low prices

Cheap always ends up expensive…. You’re getting ripped off if you hire an advertising or public relations agency on retainer. If you are not on a retainer, your agency is still ripping you off.

When you’re on retainer, you’re paying for inflated services, teams, creative circle-jerks, and expensive, questionable, “business” lunches.

You are not getting value for your money because without a retainer, the agency cannot effectively plan resources. It affects how and when it can bill work, every project, every idea, every time it has to create a “project” and then bill hours toward that project. They must account for every hour they are in the office which when they are burdened… guess who they pass the buck to…

“Saving money” by negotiating a deal without a retainer will lead to costly work.

Brand Building Campaigns

It is much easier to get rich than it is to get famous. Just because the big boys like Nike, Coca-cola, and Target can waste millions on brand building doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Your brand is the experience your customers have with you. Nike’s swoosh would be nothing without a feeling that you could run faster and jump higher than your typical PayLess Penny Loafer. Coca-cola’s iconic script wouldn’t be recognized the world over without being the most addictive sugar water to ever hit someone’s lips. And Target’s image advertising would be nothing if you didn’t get slightly higher quality goods and marginally higher price than Walmart.

All I’m saying is that I didn’t go to my local mechanic because he put a big picture of his face on the outside of his shop. He got great reviews, provided fair pricing, and guaranteed his work. Now that’s a brand!

Using Short Copy To Sell

When crafting an advertisement, you’ve got to think about who you’re talking to, where they are, and what they want. Your Ad Agency dynamic trio: account, strategist, and production lead, should always be on the same page with what you want. When they work together to come up with “the perfect ad” creativity and humor are often their foremost thought. They’re in the business of making money for the agency and winning awards to impress their friends.

The image advertising is what you see… what you’re paying for is results… that’s not necessarily in their best interest. You’ve got 30 seconds to sell your product on an expensive radio spot, you can only say so much…

But saying little leaves a lot up to the imagination. The reason you don’t see a clear return on your investment to an ad agency is because you don’t have the bandwidth to answer all the objections your viewer might have to actually make a purchase.

Who reads all those words on the sales letter? Who watches that long silly infomercial? Buyers.

Social Media & SEO Gurus

Your advertising and PR agency is designed for the agency’s efficiency, not yours. And when I say “efficiency,” I mean the ability of the agency to “bill you.” When you enter into an agreement with an agency, it is the team that is important; the team determines whether you are successful or not, not the agency.

Teams become overly bloated with top-heavy management at agencies. “Creative directors” are more artists than business people, and remember who I told you to make sure you have on your team?

The difference between a $1 bill and a $100 is the message on the paper. That message is created by a copywriter… not an account executive or SEO wizard.

Media coverage

PR agencies cannot guarantee media coverage, customer/audience sentiment, social media engagement, winning awards, website traffic, sales enquiries, or any of the other measurements that can be used to assess effectiveness. If you are spending money on an advertising or PR agency, you should expect measurable results. A clear, trackable method for determining ROI for every dollar spent.

A good agency will aim for results that are “purposeful and meaningful” but nothing beats a direct-response that brings in qualified leads, sales, and repeat customers.

Go on the second post in this series – Six Costly Misconceptions About The Customer Journey