7 Advertising & Marketing Rules You Must Follow Or Continue To Waste Your Money

Mr. Tim Connor
February 7, 2013 — 1,531 views  
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Ever driven past a billboard at 70 miles an hour and the type was too small to read the message?  Ever walked by a trade show booth and couldn’t figure out what they were selling? Ever visited a website and after only a few seconds you were confused?  There are 7 rules that are broken every day by millions of organizations trying to grow their business with advertising and marketing approaches that don’t work and never will.

It doesn’t matter whether we are discussing a website design, a magazine or newspaper advertisement, a brochure or trade show banner or booth - the following are the seven rules you must follow consistently if you want positive results from your advertising and marketing resources.

When most organizations develop websites, brochures or advertising they usually don’t consider the following fundamental rules that when followed will give you better readership and therefore better results.

On the surface it would appear that these are common sense rules but the problem is that all too often, ego, arrogance or the need for hype and current trends tend to overrule basic human behavior.  Let me share these seven rules with you.  Keep in mind I am just giving you a quick overview.  If you want to learn how to effectively integrate these in your advertising approaches, give us a call.  We are here to help you get results.

Readership; What I am referring to here is the time of exposure to your message and a sensitivity to your readers concerns.  For example, there are about 80 million baby boomers (the biggest buying segment in the US during the past 75 years) that want things bigger and slower.  What is technology giving to these folks every day?  Smaller and faster.  See the problem here?

Next is the simple fact that you generally have less than 20 seconds to grab someone’s attention.  If there are hundreds of people trolling a trade show floor--who do you thinks gets the most attention?  It has nothing to do with show dominance or the size of the booth - it’s all about positioning or quickly grabbing attention and keeping it.

Positioning; Photos, illustrations and large type in any add or on a website grabs a reader’s attention first.  Here’s the problem.  Research over the years has indicated that when people read anything – website page, magazine ad, brochure etc. they read down and right.  Add to this that the first thing they will notice is a photograph followed by an illustration and then large type.  So – if you put a photo in the middle of the page and important type above the photo, they will be drawn first to the photo and then continue to read down and right and miss your message completely.  How about two photos on the same page - one at the top left of the page and another at the bottom right.  So – they will tend to look at the photo on the top of the page first and then their eyes will be drawn to the photo on the bottom and they will never read the content in between – they will now turn the pager or click on a page link message lost!  This is a simple yet fundamental rule that advertisers make every day that costs them thousands and even millions of wasted advertising and marketing dollars and lost customers every day and every year.

Content; This one is simple yet a major issue in the advertising and marketing area.  Too much content.  Yes, there are people who will tell you that they need to tell the entire story in an ad or brochure, but research indicates that the average attention span of the average adult is between 10 and 12 seconds.  If your content does not keep the reader engaged I don’t care how much or how little you have – you must come from the reader’s/customer’s perspective.  Next is too much hype or empty promises or grandiose statements that people will not believe no matter how hard you try.  Everyone filters what they see, reading through their own very personal and yes biased mental filter. One of my favorites is websites that have competing activity – here a movement, there a movement, everywhere a movement.  Add to this that the rotation is either too fast or too slow.  What’s the answer?  Yes-- have activity on a site or an internet ad, but you can’t do this in a brochure. Keep in mind if you have competing activity or it moves too fast for me – Click Click – either a different page or a different website.  Notice this section is longer than the rest?  This was a test to see if you kept reading or went on to the next topic.    

A Call to Action; Any ad, brochure that wants my business that does not make it easy to find contact information – well, I will look elsewhere.  I recently visited 50 websites in the Manufactured Housing Industry and it took me an average of 3 minutes to find the contact information and many of them didn’t even have it.  Just wanted me to fill out an online form.  Sorry – Click Click.

The Mix; Reinforcement is the key.  Yes, have a website. Yes, advertise. Yes, have a brochure. Yes, participate in industry trade shows and yes, have some PR, but beware it’s all in the mix.  None of these, if not reinforced with other media, will in and of themselves provide consistent results/activity.  You would be amazed at how many organizations are going back to Direct Mail as a part of their mix.  Not saying this is good or bad strategy but if it reinforces your message, theme or brand, it helps.  Nothing today in and of itself will do the job.  I know, I know the internet guru’s would have you believe that this is the end all.  TV and radio once spouted that mantra years ago.  This is one of the advantages of MHProNews.  We do it all. And for very modest fees.

Target Markets; Using young models in your ads, brochures or websites when you are trying to reach folks in their 60’s or 70’s isn’t going to make them feel good or attracted to your message.  Putting a single model in a trade show limits people’s perspective on your products.  Failing to have contact information on your website makes it hard for me to do business with you.  I could go on but I’ll leave you with a quick question.  Are you making it easy or difficult for people to do business with you? The answer to this question speaks volumes about where you are today in terms of results and growth.

Measure;  I’ll keep this one short - If you don’t measure how do you know if your investment is working?  Whether It’s SEO, tracking phone numbers or coupon codes you have to know what is working and what isn’t otherwise just keep throwing more time, energy and money down the drain.

Mr. Tim Connor

Connor Resource Group

Global renowned sales and management speaker and trainer and best selling author of over 80 books including several international best sellers.