STEWART WOODRUFF: Leave a message

08 Aug, 14

Owner of MBK Studio Stewart Woodruff says target your customers with meaningful advertising.

Advertising is one of the most important marketing pillars a business owner can use. However we may leave this to an external agency that has no real knowledge of your market or your message. Consider one piece of marketing that you currently run and now replace your name with that of your nearest rival. Do you notice a real difference? Are we all producing generic advertising? And, just as importantly, if you were the customer would it entice you to pay a showroom visit

Compelling communication

You should by now have identified your markets and the best media for each market. So now you need to consider your message. It should be compelling. It should make your market wish to see you above and beyond anyone else and to do that it needs to be about them, not you. It needs to illustrate you are the only choice for those in your market, as you really understand their needs. It is not about how long you have been in business, how big you are, how cheap you are. Those are not compelling arguments. You need to consider your Unique Selling Point, that one phrase that sums up why you should be the person customers want to go to and the one thing that makes you unique. Your ultimate aim is to get customers and make sales. Your market only wants to know what you can do for them. You have to craft a message which compels people to visit you, your showroom or your website.

Heads up

There are a number of different techniques in crafting that message. The most important part of any piece of advertising is the header. Legendary ad man David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy”. A good heading is far more likely to capture your market and get them to read your message. It has to be of interest and appeal to them. It must encourage them to read on, click through, press play, whatever the media it needs to engage with your market and compel them to take the next step, to contact you. A good advert has a number of sub plots. After the killer headline, if you make an offer, it must be of value to the client and have a deadline. The focus must be what is in it for them and proof that you can solve their problem. Your advert, depending on the media used, can be complicated or simple, it can be a story or a series of testimonials, but it must show your market and why you are the only choice for them. There are many excellent books which can help us with understanding the skill of writing adverts and business associations that will provide you with lots of information. I belong to Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneurs Circle which has provided me with much valuable information on this topic and many others.

This article first appeared in the July/August issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News