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The Entertainment Epidemic in Advertising and Marketing Today

The Entertainment Epidemic in Advertising and Marketing Today Grant Johnson
While our human nature likes to be entertained, are we losing sight of the core reason most advertising and marketing is created? To sell more of our products and/or services.

Research suggests that 50% of people tune into the Super Bowl just to watch the ads, and recent research by Communicus, a Tucson, Ariz.-based research firm, divulged that 80% of Super Bowl ads don't increase sales. Even worse, almost 60% of the ads the firm tested didn't even increase purchase intent, but they do entertain.

Perhaps it's because the focus is too much on entertaining us. This year’s game had a lot of cute, fun, clever and emotional spots. They captured our attention, but is that enough? Grabbing our attention rarely translates into more sales.

How many of them will you act upon? Will you try the product/service advertised, switch to that brand or buy more of it as an already loyal customer because of the ads?

This trend is not limited to the premiere event for creative minds in the United States, and even perhaps the world. It happens every day. Story telling has also taken the turn to entertaining, at the loss of having a call-to-action.

Keep in mind that people hate to be sold. But those same folks love to buy. Get them to want to buy what you are selling and think about how to achieve this from the start of your creative brief.

So if the advertising and marketing being created is not the measurable kind, how do you build that into your next campaign? Here are some things to consider:

1.) Lose the mass media mindset.

Whatever you sell has unique segments. Understand the different segments, where you can grow, where people are underserved or where you have a competitive advantage or distinction. Not all segments are equal. Then market to those segments, as uniquely as possible and include a call-to-action in your messaging.

People today expect your messaging to be relevant. If not, they will tune out. The messaging and or offers you use creates the connection. Find it. Own it. Sell it and succeed.

2.) Test it before you roll it out.

The internet and digital communications allow marketers to test their creative and messaging much faster today. Experiment, have fun, determine what is working and what is not before investing the big bucks into a campaign blindly.

Note: this is real-life testing, not focus groups. What people say and what they do are often very different. Thus, send the creative out into the real world and gauge how it is performing and adjust. Then broadcast it with more confidence.

3.) Test different copy platforms.

Fear, greed, exclusivity, salvation, anger are good starting points. People like what they can’t have and want what makes them feel special. Think American Express using exclusivity as their leading copy platform and the success they have had with it.

Copy is cheaper to change than all new creative and it offers a big payback if you test it and find a winner. Therefore, think about different copy treatments to test and measure.

4.) Create relationships with your prospects and customers.

Keep in mind that you want people to feel special, like they are the only one you are communicating with. Thus, create relationships and use those customer testimonials to get prospects to see that there is something better out there that they have been missing out on.

5.) Simple is better.

As we are so over communicated to today, people crave simplicity. Try and determine the problems facing your potential customers and address them head on and add value. Make sure you also establish credibility with them if you are a lesser known brand.

The faster they can see your advantage compared to others, the more success you will likely have.

6.) Tell people what you want them to do.

If you want people to visit your website, tell them that and then repeat it. The same if you want them to visit a store, check you out on Facebook or twitter and give them a reason to do so.

7.)  Track, measure and analyze.

If you want to be a star, prove that your advertising and marketing is working. Your CEO will be impressed and so will the CFO. Data is your friend. Understand it at the beginning and then finish the ROI story with reporting metrics at the end.

These 7 steps will help guide you in your transition from a brand marketer to a brand marketer who can prove ROI. The tools are there, what’s required is a little bit of patience and thinking more from the segmented prospect and customers point-of-view. And, of course selling your wares.

Grant A. Johnson is the founder and Ambassador of Fun of Brookfield, Wisconsin based Johnson Direct & Digital. He is an internationally recognized speaker, creative director, thought leader, author, teacher, measurable marketing strategist and...

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