The Biggest Mistake Many Advertisers Make

14 replies
So I woke up this morning with another "thought for the day"...

A couple weeks ago, I shared an actionable tip that worked for one of my clients.

If you were able to avail yourself of it, then that's great... you're welcome.

If not... well, not every idea works for everyone, no matter how great the idea (maybe the next one will suit you better?)


But this time around I'm dropping more of a philosophical postulation (whoa, there's a couple of big words. I'm pretty sure I used them correctly?)


Anyway, this time I'm going to rant for a moment about something that's near and dear to my heart, but gets disregarded too easily by many new marketers. (and some established marketers too)


I'll try to keep it short and sweet, because I understand that reading the ramblings of a madman is not for everyone.

And after you read my thoughts, feel free to agree with me (because I'm brilliant)... or add your own thoughts to the conversation (because you're brilliant)... or lay down an alternate truth of your own (because you think I'm full of crap).


Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it'll be the right decision for you.


So that's enough of an introduction. Here's what I was thinking when I woke up this morning.

After 20 years in the advertising game...




The Biggest Mistake I See Many Advertisers Make Is... Thinking Like A Marketer

OK, I can already hear you saying... "Wait...What??? What the hell are you talking about? We're supposed to think like marketers. It's what we do!"

Well before you grab pitchforks and torches, and come after me for blasphemy, give me just one chance to explain. And if you still want to string me up after that, then I'll even supply the rope for you...


For those of us in advertising, marketing, public relations, or any field where we need to sell our ideas to other people, we always need to remember...

It's not all about us... It's about our audience!
(do you see the direction I'm going with this one? If you do understand, then maybe you can lower that pitchfork just a little?)


Now don't get me wrong, of course we need to think like a marketer at the beginning of the day.

We need to understand what we're selling, who we're selling to, how and where to present our offer in the best way possible. We also want to look at which way the winds of trade are blowing, and what the marketplace is asking for. And we need a solid understanding of quantitative and qualitative data.

All of that, and more, takes a marketing mindset to get it right.


But at the end of the day... we need to think less like a marketer, and more like a consumer.

After all, we're all consumers. So what makes you want to buy something? I'm willing to bet it's not the same reason the advertiser wants to sell it to you.



And yet, this seemingly obvious concept is one that appears to get overlooked by many advertising and marketing campaigns.

I still see too many new advertisers trying to figure out how to sell from the sellers point of view.


Some will look at the latest gimmick or technique, and then try to plug it into their own marketing without understanding why (or even "if") it works. Of course there's nothing wrong with testing new ideas. I do it all the time. But that doesn't mean we should blindly follow the latest magic trick without giving it a second thought.


Other lost souls will study graphs and charts from current trends, and then try to stuff their customers into a broad category. But just because our data indicates people are watching dancing cat videos on YouTube, doesn't mean we should automatically add dancing cats in all of our advertisements.


The worst offenders are the ones that make it all about themselves, and they basically yell at the market... "Look at me! Can't you see how great I am? Now buy my stuff".


Those advertisers are usually the same people who spend half their time complaining about how the economy is bad, or how the market is drying up, or there's just too much competition in the marketplace.

Many of these advertisers could make it so much easier on themselves if they would simply remember...

People buy what they buy, for their own reasons. Not yours... Not mine... But their own.


So instead of spending all your time trying to figure out how you can sell, why not invest some of that time figuring out how your audience wants to buy.

I've found that when I spend a little less time fretting over the latest technique or parlor trick, and spend a little more time understanding my audience, amazing things start to happen with conversion rates... They go up!


Of course, if you have a big enough budget, and can afford to saturate the market with your message (akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if anything sticks) then there's a good chance that you'll eventually make something happen. And that's great.

But for the rest of us mere mortals who need to make every advertising dollar count, it's a worthy investment of time and energy to understand our market before we begin testing our message.


That's why when we start a new campaign we can look at things like demographics, psychographics, trends, lifestyles and buying behaviors of our target audience. And if we can find a pattern of current buying behaviors... even better.

And all that is great, because now we understand that we're selling to a 35 - 40 year old married woman with children, and a total household income between $50,000 and $75,000 per year. She's a member of the local church, buys self-help and weight-loss products, enjoys movies, occasional dining out, weekends at the beach, etc, etc, etc...

Armed with this knowledge we can begin to understand the world of our soon to be customer. We can begin to understand her hopes, dreams, desires, and fears.

Combine that with a list of people who closely fit our criteria, and we'll never have a better chance of getting the highest possible response.

Then we can create a promotion that makes it much easier for her to not only get excited about our offer, but also feel more comfortable buying from us instead of our competitors. Because she knows we understand her world.


I guess if I had to put this mornings thought into one sentence it would look something like ...

"A good advertiser knows how to think like a marketer... But a great advertiser learns how to think like the customer"




Anyway, that was my thought when I woke up this morning. (I told you I'd keep it short and sweet)

Since you've read this far, I can only hope that means you decided not to string me up for blasphemy?

And of course I realize that even though I have multiple ways of doing things, none of my ways is the only way to get things done.

That's why I'm always curious to know your thoughts on the subject...

Again, feel free to agree with me (because I'm brilliant)... or add your own thoughts to the conversation (because you're brilliant)... or lay down an alternate truth of your own (because you think I'm full of crap).

Whatever you decide to do is OK by me.

After all, this post isn't just for me... It's for all of us...
#advertisers #biggest #make #mistake
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    I feel one of the biggest mistakes is not setting or even having a marketing budget. I feel it is very important to invest in paid advertising for your business. Granted you resources like social media but it takes time. Having a marketing budget allows you to get started generating clients ASAP!
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

    So I woke up this morning with another "thought for the day"...

    A couple weeks ago, I shared an actionable tip that worked for one of my clients.

    If you were able to avail yourself of it, then that's great... you're welcome.

    If not... well, not every idea works for everyone, no matter how great the idea (maybe the next one will suit you better?)


    But this time around I'm dropping more of a philosophical postulation (whoa, there's a couple of big words. I'm pretty sure I used them correctly?)


    Anyway, this time I'm going to rant for a moment about something that's near and dear to my heart, but gets disregarded too easily by many new marketers. (and some established marketers too)


    I'll try to keep it short and sweet, because I understand that reading the ramblings of a madman is not for everyone.

    And after you read my thoughts, feel free to agree with me (because I'm brilliant)... or add your own thoughts to the conversation (because you're brilliant)... or lay down an alternate truth of your own (because you think I'm full of crap).


    Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it'll be the right decision for you.


    So that's enough of an introduction. Here's what I was thinking when I woke up this morning.

    After 20 years in the advertising game...




    The Biggest Mistake I See Many Advertisers Make Is... Thinking Like A Marketer

    OK, I can already hear you saying... "Wait...What??? What the hell are you talking about? We're supposed to think like marketers. It's what we do!"

    Well before you grab pitchforks and torches, and come after me for blasphemy, give me just one chance to explain. And if you still want to string me up after that, then I'll even supply the rope for you...


    For those of us in advertising, marketing, public relations, or any field where we need to sell our ideas to other people, we always need to remember...

    It's not all about us... It's about our audience!
    (do you see the direction I'm going with this one? If you do understand, then maybe you can lower that pitchfork just a little?)


    Now don't get me wrong, of course we need to think like a marketer at the beginning of the day.

    We need to understand what we're selling, who we're selling to, how and where to present our offer in the best way possible. We also want to look at which way the winds of trade are blowing, and what the marketplace is asking for. And we need a solid understanding of quantitative and qualitative data.

    All of that, and more, takes a marketing mindset to get it right.


    But at the end of the day... we need to think less like a marketer, and more like a consumer.

    After all, we're all consumers. So what makes you want to buy something? I'm willing to bet it's not the same reason the advertiser wants to sell it to you.



    And yet, this seemingly obvious concept is one that appears to get overlooked by many advertising and marketing campaigns.

    I still see too many new advertisers trying to figure out how to sell from the sellers point of view.


    Some will look at the latest gimmick or technique, and then try to plug it into their own marketing without understanding why (or even "if") it works. Of course there's nothing wrong with testing new ideas. I do it all the time. But that doesn't mean we should blindly follow the latest magic trick without giving it a second thought.


    Other lost souls will study graphs and charts from current trends, and then try to stuff their customers into a broad category. But just because our data indicates people are watching dancing cat videos on YouTube, doesn't mean we should automatically add dancing cats in all of our advertisements.


    The worst offenders are the ones that make it all about themselves, and they basically yell at the market... "Look at me! Can't you see how great I am? Now buy my stuff".


    Those advertisers are usually the same people who spend half their time complaining about how the economy is bad, or how the market is drying up, or there's just too much competition in the marketplace.

    Many of these advertisers could make it so much easier on themselves if they would simply remember...

    People buy what they buy, for their own reasons. Not yours... Not mine... But their own.


    So instead of spending all your time trying to figure out how you can sell, why not invest some of that time figuring out how your audience wants to buy.

    I've found that when I spend a little less time fretting over the latest technique or parlor trick, and spend a little more time understanding my audience, amazing things start to happen with conversion rates... They go up!


    Of course, if you have a big enough budget, and can afford to saturate the market with your message (akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if anything sticks) then there's a good chance that you'll eventually make something happen. And that's great.

    But for the rest of us mere mortals who need to make every advertising dollar count, it's a worthy investment of time and energy to understand our market before we begin testing our message.


    That's why when we start a new campaign we can look at things like demographics, psychographics, trends, lifestyles and buying behaviors of our target audience. And if we can find a pattern of current buying behaviors... even better.

    And all that is great, because now we understand that we're selling to a 35 - 40 year old married woman with children, and a total household income between $50,000 and $75,000 per year. She's a member of the local church, buys self-help and weight-loss products, enjoys movies, occasional dining out, weekends at the beach, etc, etc, etc...

    Armed with this knowledge we can begin to understand the world of our soon to be customer. We can begin to understand her hopes, dreams, desires, and fears.

    Combine that with a list of people who closely fit our criteria, and we'll never have a better chance of getting the highest possible response.

    Then we can create a promotion that makes it much easier for her to not only get excited about our offer, but also feel more comfortable buying from us instead of our competitors. Because she knows we understand her world.


    I guess if I had to put this mornings thought into one sentence it would look something like ...

    "A good advertiser knows how to think like a marketer... But a great advertiser learns how to think like the customer"




    Anyway, that was my thought when I woke up this morning. (I told you I'd keep it short and sweet)

    Since you've read this far, I can only hope that means you decided not to string me up for blasphemy?

    And of course I realize that even though I have multiple ways of doing things, none of my ways is the only way to get things done.

    That's why I'm always curious to know your thoughts on the subject...

    Again, feel free to agree with me (because I'm brilliant)... or add your own thoughts to the conversation (because you're brilliant)... or lay down an alternate truth of your own (because you think I'm full of crap).

    Whatever you decide to do is OK by me.

    After all, this post isn't just for me... It's for all of us...
    You are NOT full of crap, at least your Philosophical Postualation isn't. Tens of thousands of people a year are studying, buying and spending a ton of money on copywriting courses, in that sub forum, one can find posts of 27 or more different copy formulas.

    And there are at least 101 COURSES on the subject. Many refer to the old and great ADVERTISERS of their day.

    Even I have a course, but only 2 out of 100 who apply, are allowed in. Why? Because I don't offer a book, course, guide, or OFF THE RACK knowledge which applies to everyone.

    I do not believe in ONE SIZE FITS ALL. We all have outgrown our ONESIES long ago.

    So, it stands to reason why MOST, or even the MANY as you say, make the fundamental mistake. Because they don't know any other way. They are following the blueprint, the formula, the 5 V's, the 6 A's, the AIDCAS, or one of the 27 other methods they were taught.

    But back up some. And now I will say MOST, maybe the VAST majority, have no business skills to begin with. Lack understanding of basic profit and loss.

    They are woefully undereducated, and mainly because someone, somewhere has told them to forget that crap, just follow my blueprint and you'll get what I got.

    Check out WSO section to see tons of examples of this thinking.

    And the other thing, even though I do agree with what you wrote, I feel deeply that most consumers DON'T KNOW WHY THEY BUY, so even if you put yourself in their shoes, and see out of their window...it may just come down to TIMING, and that is something we have very little (some) control over. Your offer hit them on payday, and they impulsed it. Because they had the money. Two days later, they be broke.

    I agree with you, but it is much easier said than done. Or am I wrong?

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      You are NOT full of crap
      Well, that's still open for debate...

      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      I agree with you, but it is much easier said than done. Or am I wrong?
      No, Gordon, you're not wrong at all. I agree... it is much easier said than done.

      I guess I was just trying to give some people pause for thought, that maybe they should look at advertising from the other side of the table.

      As you pointed out, many with zero sales or customer relation skills read a book... buy a WSO... follow a formula... or discover some new parlor trick, and think that's all it takes to make it big.

      Then they end up here on this forum, or on some other platform asking "why am I not making any sales?"

      Well, that's a good question to ask. There could be many reasons. And one of them maybe that they're looking at it from the wrong point of view?


      And of course marketing is always going to be a numbers game, and we'll never sell to everyone on our list (quite frankly, if our conversion rates are too high then we're not reaching nearly enough people). But if we can tick our conversion rates up just a few percent, from the same traffic we're currently getting... How much extra money will that be?
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      SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Conversion Flow Specialist
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  • Philosophical postulation is a curse.


    I go dancin' in noo jeans -- imaginin' my ass looks real cool -- only to wake up next day figurin' actshwlly it don't cos the pockets are all stoopid.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author jamesjason4566
    Really very impressive talk.
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  • Profile picture of the author millan123ta
    Impressive talk, but it's still open what is right?
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    • Originally Posted by millan123ta View Post

      Impressive talk, but it's still open what is right?
      Prolly the fyootyure still open, you wanna.

      Less'n nowan desistin' on out.

      So what we got?

      Likely a whole buncha immutable stuffs -- like SUN SHOWS EVRY DAY (less'n you live in frickin' ALASKAH), or YOU ALIVE TILL'N YOU DEAD (less'n you wanna be real stoopid 'bout alla the NOT ACTSCHWLLY DEAD IN ALASKAH options), for example.

      So mebbe this leaves Terra Firma an' evrywan rompsyin' around thereovah.

      We here to stomp or leap?

      Impress or express?

      Jus' gotta hope our combined exactitude of purpose bears fruit -- an' I say this in advance of nowan else dumb who ain't posted here yet.
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      Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author AR RIZVI
    Sell the problem you solve, not the product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    Yes, bro, it was a rant alright but quite informative. The idea is marketers must stop thinking like sellers and instead think like buyers. They should focus on the reasons that make people buy. Once it is done, they will be able to do those things that buyers look for before making a purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author almas asad
    Assuming the Business Owner Knows Best
    Unsubstantiated Claims
    Improper Use of Passive Media
    Creating Ads Instead of Campaigns
    Obedience to Unwritten Rules
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  • Profile picture of the author monica geller
    Some of the mistakes that advertisers do:
    1. Using only one platform
    2. Using low-resolution images
    3. Inappropriate usage of colors
    4. No research on the updates and customers
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  • Profile picture of the author star007
    I think that even more important even than advertising like buyers, is to honor the warranties and to offer and provide top-drawer customer service.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Another FATAL marketer mistake is to focus on CREATING DEMAND instead of SERVING EXISTING demand

    Use Google's KPT tool and Google trends to see if your new service or new product site has an actual market

    Just because you think something is hot doesn't mean it actually is
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