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  Category: Articles » Business » Advertising » Article

Advertising is Not About You

By BIG Mike McDaniel

Yuk, another car dealer standing in front of the
dealership fumbling through a commercial with wooden movements.

Now he's telling me his dealership is number one in the district. Wow. I better rush right down there.

Why is it, people who should know better end up doing the ego thing in their advertising. Effective advertising is all about benefits, not features. Number one in Kansas is only a feature and not much of one at that.

Here's an excercise:

Make a list of everything you think should be included at one time or another in one of your ads.

Everything. Experience, staff, facility, product. The list will be quite long. Take the time to do it now, before you read the rest of this article.

Now, pencil in hand, take a hard look at that list. Cross out everything about YOU. Cross out everything about YOUR staff, YOUR building, YOUR ranking, awards years in business, etc.

Next cross off everything that resembles a FEATURE of your business, product or service.

The number one rule, the only rule, for great
advertising is "Sell the Benefits".

Take a poll, people don't care if you have the largest selection in town. It means nothing that "New Stuff is arriving daily". They want to know what you or your product can do for them. Ease pain and you gain.

You see and hear ads everyday that miss the point entirely:

How about the newspaper ad with the picture of the funeral home building and how they have been there for 85 years? What benefit?

Three little girls on TV yelling an unintelligible slogan about their daddy's insurance biz.

Giant billboards with pictures of the medical clinic staff standing in front of a wall of awards.

Ads about "me me me" can look and sound really great, to me, me, me. We all love to talk about ourselves.

The first time you make the list and cross out the me me mees and all the features, you may have only one or two points left to promote. Make a new list and think "them them them". Advertising should be all about the customer.
Think benefits.

The ads that work, the ads that stick in your head are the ones that promise to make your life easier, to solve a problem.

Who cares what a financial advisor looks like, but tell people they can retire and not eat dog food and you get their attention. Benefit.

Funny thing, the ads about benefits are the ones we make the mental note to remember. Hmmm.

Sell the benefits and you don't have to sell yourself.

Read hundreds of small business advertising articles at
About the Author
2006 BIG Mike McDaniel
BIG Mike is the Small Business Advertising Expert and
author of "Business Cards - Front to Back". This book
tells you how to make your business card the most
powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.
To learn more visit

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  Some other articles by BIG Mike McDaniel
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Now What? Ads in the John?
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What Are Your Selling with Your Elevator Speech?
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Should You Advertise on TV?
When people discover my background in advertising, the questions flow. One of the most frequent questions is "Should I advertise on TV?" I can't answer that questions until I ask a number of ...

Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level
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