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Nine “Do Not” lessons


learned from 30+ years 


of sales-winning advertising


I know, accenting the negative isn’t always the best thing, but if you know what NOT to do, it’s a lot easier to figure out what you can and should do. I don’t pretend to know what you can and should do, but I sure can tell you what I’ve found out that doesn’t work (and throw in a few hints about stuff I know that works better!).

Here’s the scoop:

1. Do NOT advertise that you have integrity, or even about what wonderful integrity-inspiring things you or your business have done. When you conduct business at all levels with a high-trust approach and attitude, you will gain or boost a reputation for integrity that speaks for itself!

2. (…and this is really #1): Here is the single most difficult marketing, advertising, sales and PR challenge to face for all businesses everywhere (yes, you did indeed read that right: “all businesses everywhere”)– ready for this? — Do NOT promote how great you are to the rest of the world. Nobody cares. Well, maybe your mother cares, but nobody else does.

3. Do NOT get too cutesy. Readability must come before cleverness in font (lettering) use and treatments (Italics, boldfacing, spacing, underlining, shadowing, using a horseshoe for the letter “U” or crossed swords for “X” or an egg for “O”…etc.). And don’t trust a designer to worry about readability; most have no training or experience in how to design with and around text, especially branding lines.

4. Do NOT emphasize product and service features. Nobody buys features. People buy benefits. Make sure your marketing, advertising, sales, promotion and PR efforts focus on benefits — on answering the question, what’s in it for me?

5. Do NOT buy into fancy dog and pony presentations that stress how the work a creative service provider individual or organization or group or team can do for you will put you head and shoulders above the rest of your industry or profession. Get rid of creative service providers who seem more interested in winning awards for themselves than in making sales for you. Use performance incentives.

6. Do NOT ever accept a media rate that’s printed on a “rate card” or “rate sheet.” Think of it as the asking price for a house just put on the market this morning. Media people who aren’t willing to work with your budget aren’t worth your time and consideration. There are always other ways to market your business.

7. Do NOT try to hand-off advertising/marketing/PR responsibilities to someone who works with you because they articulate well or can write a mean email. And don’t try to do it yourself unless it’s what you specialize in. Remember that there are two success keys involved: writing skill and psychology expertise. Persuading customer and prospect brains is what it’s all about. 

8. Do NOT communicate too little or too much. Ask prospects and customers what they think the right amount of information is. Have someone who’s experienced at it run a focus group for you to get these answers, and to test alternative marketing approaches. 7 target market representatives for an hour works for this purpose. Give each a $20-$25 value reward for their participation.

9. Do NOT “settlefor ads, commercials, websites, landing pages, blogs, brochures, news releases, or social media executions or strategies that don’t feel right! If you don’t feel sure about something, remember it’s your business. Your gut instinct is your best decision maker.   

                                                            or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “ADVERTISING NO-NO’s”

  1. Hal Alpiar's Blog » GETTING ENOUGH?on 05 Jun 2011 at 4:01 pm

    […] Yes, fun stuff, and hopefully inspiring. That’s the good news. The bad news is that these short sweet nothings, these provocative, punchy few words of flair do not fall from the sky. […]

  2. Hal Alpiar's Blog » GUTS AND GUMPTIONon 18 Jan 2015 at 7:54 pm

    […] say about the process that got you there. OR that didn’t get you there — What are some NO-NO’s you’ve learned? People DO want to know these things. You did yourself at one time. […]

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