Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Harry Beckwith Says the #1 Problem w/ Marketing is….

… a complete lack of clarity.

Hear! Hear!

I see it all the time – businesses that sacrifice being clear for being clever. And it’s a money loser in marketing if ever there was one.

I should know.

In a former life, I was the headline writer for a lifestyle magazine in South Carolina. Sometimes, I would proudly submit what I considered to be a brilliant ad - and then sink as no one got it. Example: I had a restaurant client who wanted to advertise their new Jazz Night. So I spent hours writing an ad that read like a Ginsberg-esque beatnik poem. I loved it. The client loved it. So we ran with it.

Well - the ad didn’t work and Jazz Night died.

Meanwhile, another restaurant client was raking in customers with an ad that read like this:

½ Price Appetizers
Monday – Friday

Clear. To the point. And everything my ad wasn’t. So as you’re creating marketing materials for your business, try this experiment:

Picture your target customer. Remember that he has no idea what your business is or what it does (even if you think he knows – pretend he doesn’t). Now picture him walking down a crowded street with a cup of coffee in one hand and a screaming kid in the other. He sees your ad for a fleeting second as he passes by.

Did he get your pitch? Did he catch your name?

If not, go back to the drawing board and keep trying until he does.


Blogger Rick Lee said...

One of my pet peeves is bad billboards. There have been many times I swear when I've been TRYING to read a billboard and I can't quite figure it out. Usually you have 5 seconds at the most and then the opportunity is lost. It has to be clear and to the point as well as LEGIBLE to somebody whose vision might be less than 20/20 at a distance.

1:18 PM


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