The Branding Lie

You Just Have to Get Your Name Out There (The Branding Lie).

“Ads that win awards rarely generate sales and ads that sell rarely win awards.” - Perry Marshall

There are effectively two types of advertising, “direct response” advertising and “brand” advertising (otherwise known as BS advertising).

One of the great lies of advertising is this: “Just get your name out there and run some ads.” This lie was the key reason for the big DOT.COM crash back in 2000.

Here is a top secret tip. The ad agencies and newspaper reps don’t know how to advertise! I’m serious – advertising
sales reps and agencies alike haven’t got a clue how to advertise effectively. Yes, they create great-looking presentations with nice images and cute headlines, but that doesn’t mean they work, and when they do, it’s often
nothing more than luck.

See, ad agencies have an agenda. Getting you more customers and increasing your profits is not at the top of their list.
Creating award-winning ads; serving the ego of the customer (you); being clever, cute, and funny; and looking good to their peers … those things are all much more important to agency staff, whether they admit to it or not.

That’s the truth.

And can you blame the ad agencies for giving their customers exactly what their customers ask for? Of course not

The Solution – Direct Response Advertising

Forget about clicks, traffic, social media, activity, tweets, engagement … and all that other bullshit. Just ask yourself this: “Are the leads converting to customers?” Yes or no?

This tells you everything you need to know.

If you want to save yourself a fortune in business, remember this – all advertising MUST do one of two things:
generate sales ... or generate sales leads. By holding all advertising to this standard, you can instantly tell if your campaign is working.

I’m not saying branding is never important, but your “image building“ should always be a secondary goal of direct response advertising. Unless you’re a big stupid corporation with more money than sense, don’t go into the market trying to brand yourself to success. It’s a surefire way to sink your marketing budget, and perhaps your entire company …

Here are the four fundamental reasons why most advertising doesn’t work:

• No attention-grabbing headline (Using the business name and location doesn’t work as a headline. Cute and clever rarely works.).

• No USP (unique selling point) or stated reason(s) to choose you over competitors.

• No compelling offer.

• No call to action.

The trick is to get people to send you their contact details in exchange for a free offer, report, guide, or DVD.

Track and Measure Everything.

If you’re directing people to a website, you need to set up a special web page that also only appears in your ad. This
will ensure that you can clearly identify who, if anyone, responds to your advertising.

A cheap, low-tech system for tracking offline advertising, on the other hand, is to list a different contact name in each
offline publication and consider each a separate advertising campaign. For instance, ask readers of one magazine to “call Jason” and another to “call Sandra.” Make this the first thing your sales staff asks for and take note.

You have LESS than five seconds to get your visitor’s attention on a website. That’s five seconds to show them you’ve got the perfect solution to their problem. So, the first thing they should see is a headline that clearly states the biggest benefit your site has to offer.

If no one sees your headline, no one will see your ad. It’s the most important element of any ad for this reason, and one small change here can increase or decrease your response rate by as much as 700%.

Everything you say in advertising must be very, very specific. A headline should talk about your customers, not about you. Remember, no one cares about YOU or YOUR company.

A headline should draw readers into the ad, but it should not attempt to be cute or clever in the style of the corporate ad agency. It should offer a benefit, provoke an emotional reaction, or just get people interested enough to read more.

Do not make your company name the highlight; it’s a waste of space. No one cares about YOUR company name. THEY
only care about THEIR problems and how YOU can address THEM!

Good places to study ads include Yahoo or MSN home pages, tabloid magazines, and newspapers. Popular editors all admit that they spend more time choosing good headlines than they do choosing the articles on which to put the headlines. After all, if the magazine doesn’t get taken off the shelf and bought in the first place, it doesn’t matter how
good the stories are!

Here are some powerful headline strategies to keep in mind, whether writing for newspapers, magazines, or Google Adwords:

• Promise readers the most important benefit.

• Always identify your ideal prospect.

• Announce news if possible.

Hint at a quick and easy solution by asking provoking questions, such as, “Are you sick of …?”

The Advertising Secret Formula That Always Works.

Every piece of advertising, webpage, sales letter, brochure, or banner ad you send out MUST include ALL of
these ingredients:

• A powerful headline that commands attention.

• An emotionally-provocative, benefit-driven message that clearly states your USP.

• A compelling “call to action” offering something valuable for contacting you.

• A deadline, scarcity of availability, or BOTH.

Oddly enough, most advertisements don’t include ANY of these ingredients; at best, there’s always at least one or two bits missing. If you want to join “most advertisers” and leave all of these ingredients out of your ads too, then send
your advertising budget to a good charity where it might actually do some good.

And remember, newspaper ad reps, yellow pages reps, ad agencies, and anyone who makes money selling advertising
will do anything to convince you otherwise. After all, that’s how they get paid!

All for now,

Mark Anthony