I’m Awesome (No you’re not)
Don’t expect the customer to connect the dots with your boring biography.
You’re at a cocktail party, dreading the innocuous small talk. A toothy, over tanned, hair gelled gentleman catches your eye and it’s over. Trapped in his tractor beam, you know he doesn’t have an “elevator pitch,” …you’re takin’ the stairs.
“I’m the assistant manager at Hubert Telcom. I do interactive communication solutions. ‘Telemarketing’ for those not in the biz. Got up at 4:30 today. I’m doing the paleo thing. Off to cross-fit by 5. Signed on a new client today. Big name, can’t reveal it now, but I crushed it in the presentation. I tell ya, work hard all day, but I play hard at night. Know what I mean?”
This is what bad advertising sounds like. A painful litany of what you do, how long you’ve been doing it, and vague claims of how excellent your service is. You believe that if you just read your company’s resume out loud, the customer will have no choice but to do business with you.
Telling people “about your company” is (at best) a limp documentary. At worst, it comes off like the braggadocious blockhead at your cocktail party. Don’t be that guy.
Your communication with your customer is more like a delicate courtship. Consider the classic rule of a first date: Don’t talk about yourself, be interested in the other person. If your ads don’t talk to her about her, you’re getting swatted away.
When crafting your ad, it needs to be at least 70% about the customer. You need to solve his problem or fill his need. It should happen in real time, present tense.
“You’ve never felt more relaxed as you sit under the sun and take in the ocean breeze,” is much more interesting than “at Sandy Dune Resort we have 3 miles of beach and 5 star rated customer service for the past 18 years.” The first one is about the customer. The second one is about as interesting as paleo cross-fit guy.
Don’t expect the customer to connect the dots with your boring biography. Take the story to the real reason they are seeking you out. I don’t need your mortgage, I want a home for my family. Tell me I can have a home for my family, and I’ll get your mortgage.
Most importantly, a courtship takes time. I need to trust, believe, and feel good about you. Too many ads try to jump right into bed, and that’s no way to treat someone you want a relationship with.