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If you’ve ever opened up a magazine, listened to the radio, or watched a commercial, you’ve been the target of advertising. There is a lot of it, and it is everywhere. If you are reading this in the United States, then it’s especially prevalent. The US is one of ONLY TWO countries IN THE WORLD that allow advertisements for pharmaceuticals. The other is New Zealand.

With the constant bombardment of sales pitches everywhere you look and listen, it’s no wonder that we’ve stopped seeing them at all. Most, if not all of us, know that when we hear the phrase “Best Burger in the West”, we can safely assume that is a subjective opinion of the staff, or a catchy slogan.

That faucet won’t make entertaining in your home more fun, but gosh darn it sure seemed that way in the commercial.

So how does a company go about getting their audiences attention? What does their audience actually pay attention to? Where is their focus, and how do you grab it?

One simple method is the simple and easy-to-use honesty approach. Clear, succinct, easy-to-read information. Or….

The No Marketing Marketing Approach

It is so tempting to channel your inner Mad Men and come up with a catchy phrase or lofty promise, but there is an easier way. Tell your audience what they want to hear.

So what DO they want to hear?

People rarely read website pages. Instead, they will bounce from headline to headline in a matter of seconds. The same principle goes for videos. People tend to watch, on average, ONLY THE FIRST 2 SECONDS of a video. If you’re lucky they might give you five. Don’t believe me? Start paying attention to what YOU are paying attention to.

Tutorial videos, which are a GREAT way to get viewers and traffic btw, are often guilty of the wasted intro time pitfall.

Hello my name is ZippyBot3 and welcome to my youtube channel. Please subscribe by clicking the subscribe button below, or visit my website at where you will find…..

Sound familiar? How about his instead…

Hey i t’s ZippyBot3 going over Photoshop tools and how to use them. Make sure your tools panel is open by going to window > tools. At the top we’ve got the “Move” tool.

BOOM I’m hooked. In LESS time then the first example’s introduction, I already know –

  1. What we’re learning
  2. Where to start
  3. Lesson 1

If you get people to actually stick around and watch your video there will be plenty of time to give them more of your personal information.

On your webpages keep this short attention span in mind. What is the most important bit of information you need a visitor to know? Take that piece of info and turn it into a short and readable heading. Then add further details below. Most people know what they are looking for and don’t want to spend a lot of time reading through lots of text to find it. Make it easy for them. Some people might want to know prices, so have a “Prices” heading. Some people might want to know what all you offer, so make a “Services” heading.

When was the last time you heard about an offer and immediately went out to take advantage of it? Chances are, unless it’s something you were already planning on spending your money on, you passed. Let’s consider this scenario. I’m going to assume you own a car. You see an add for an oil change at HALF OFF! That’s a great deal, but you won’t be needing an oil change for another 2 months. At best you cut out the offer and put it on your fridge, IF it doesn’t expire before you’ll need it in 2 months. Now you’ve got 2 months of it sitting there, taking up space on your fridge. At my house that would get taken down and thrown out to reduce clutter pretty quick.

What company was it? Is it worth going there even without the special offer? Who knows. The only thing you noticed about the advertisement was the Half-Off discount.

This is an example of attempting the right ad at the right time. It didn’t work very well. Yes you got it in front of a large amount of people that own cars, but your offer was for a service that is pretty time sensitive. So unless they see the offer on their way to get their oil changed, you’ve missed an opportunity.

Traditional advertising methods encourage MORE! More Ads, More Money, More Exposure! And to an extent that still rings true. You DO want to get your company name in front of your audience enough that they remember it, but you DON’T want to pester them into vowing to never use your service. So let’s think back on the oil change. Maybe you change your strategy to put your name in front of your audience repeatedly until it’s time for that service and they do go to your shop because of it. Great! Right? Depends on how much money you spent getting that message out multiple times for the 1 service. If you spent $900 for repeated ads in the newspaper for a $20 oil change, lets hope you do several of them!

So what do you do?

I have found in my years in marketing that getting a clear and accurate message out to an audience that is easy to find is the best way to go. What do you offer, what does it cost, and how can I get access to it? Make it EASY to find your business and purchase your product or service. Make sure your product or service is good, (this includes customer service), and you will not only get repeat customers, but probably their friends and family as well.

It can be up to 10 times more expensive to market to a NEW customer, then to a repeat one.

Know your audience.

Are you catering to an older crowd or a younger one? Are you passing up potential buyers by not including younger buyers? Studies are showing that the younger a potential purchaser is, the LESS they respond to traditional marketing.


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