Market segmentation or demand for authenticity?

I’ve posted a bit lately about the challenges of chasing a vastly segmented market. In today’s “Monday Morning Memo” RoyWilliams, the Wizard of Ads says technology is, indeed, making marketing more difficult. But he doesn’t think it’s because fewer people are listening to the radio or reading the newspaper.

Overall, the audience for commercial radio has declined only about 4 percent over the past 3 years.

But Radio ad results are down far more than 4 percent.

Online news aggregators gather worldwide news for us and deliver it instantly to our desktops. Traditional Newspaper subscriptions are at an all-time low and so are Newspaper ad results. But the results are declining faster than subscriptions.

Yes, technology is to blame. But not in the way that you think.

I’m paid according to how much my clients grow, remember? So I don’t really care what the problem is. My job is to find it and fix it.

Here’s what I’ve discovered, tested and proved:
1: Internet surfing has trained us to\n disregard empty words.
\n 2: Relevance has become more important than repetition.

\n
\n Bottom line: Meaningful messages are\n working better than ever, especially when the fundamental\n premise of your ad is clearly stated in the opening line. Ads full of\n unsupported claims and overworked "image-building" phrases are\n being rejected before they ever enter the brain. So say what matters. Say\n it tight, say it true.
\n
\n The audience is still there. What's gone is their willingness to pay\n attention to drivel.
\n
\n You spend about a minute each day going though the mail delivered by the\n Post Office, right? Before Yahoo and Google came along, those 6 minutes\n each week constituted your total weekly exercise in the high-speed\n evaluation of content. But now you're spending more than a quarter-hour\n per day scanning search engine results and web pages for relevant,\n meaningful, salient information. These daily quarter-hours are teaching\n you – and your customers – to more quickly recognize and\n disregard word-fluff and other irrelevant information. We're learning to\n filter out hyperbole and empty phrases.
\n
\n Is this beginning to make sense to you?
\n
\n To make your advertising work like it should, you're going to have to:
\n
\n 1. Talk about things your\n customer actually cares about.
\n 2. Write your ads in a style that rings true.
\n 3. Avoid heroic chest\n thumping. "We are the number one…" is now considered\n gauche and passé.”,1] ); //–>
1: Internet surfing has trained us to disregard empty words.
2: Relevance has become more important than repetition.

Wizard’s Complete Memo

The Wizard explains that the bombardment of information has taught all of us to scan for important words and to ignore fluff. Williams says one of the main tenants in advertising won’t work anymore, either — that magical “repetition” of message seems to have failed advertisers. What’s the secret to ads that work?

1. Talk about things your customer actually cares about.
2. Write your ads in a style that rings true.
3. Avoid heroic chest thumping. “We are the number one…” is now considered gauche and passé.
4. Close the loopholes in your ads. Offer evidence to support what you say.
5. Be specific. Details are more believable than generalities.
6. Deliver a real message. Substance is more important than style.

Creativity and repetition can no longer cover up the fact that an advertiser has nothing to say. You’ve got to have a message that matters.

A message that matters means an authentic product, an authentic service, an authentic message.

This is a refreshing concept if, for no other reason, than to think the traditional info-mercials full of hyperbole, screaming, and outlandish claims may soon disappear from our television screens.

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