In last month’s tip, I talked about “promoting on platitudes.” Remember, those are the phrases you constantly read or hear that says how great a company is because they are professional, qualified, reliable, and offer the best service in the entire world. You hear them all the time – and yes, they’re overused and boring.
What is your unique message? I suggested that you look at your products and services through your customers’ eyes and that may mean asking them why they hired you in the first place.
Well this month, I want to give you 3 sure-fire tests you can easily use to evaluate whether or not your messages cut through the clutter of your competition.
But first, I suggestions you open up your favourite trade magazine or even the Yellow pages. Look at all the advertisers in your industry. Read the words and phrases they use then put them to the test.
Test #1: Well I would hope so!
Read the claims that are made in various ads. Here are a few I found in one advertisement for a local roofing company:
- We have installed hundreds of roofs.
- Our installers are expertly trained.
- We take all the necessary precautions when working on your property.
- We only work with the finest materials available.
It’s kind of funny when you read these platitudes on their own, but after each statement, you can easily say “Well, I would hope so.” Give your prospects something fresh – something interesting.
Test #2: Who else can say that?
Notice I said “who else can ‘say’ that” and not “who else ‘does’ that.” Many business owners copy ads from competitors, virtually saying the same thing as everyone else. It doesn’t mean they actually follow through. This is where you want to be so specific, no one else can say exactly the same thing. If you have a unique process, give it a name and talk about it.
Test #3: Cross out/Write in test.
Look at your advertisement, your Home page, or any other marketing piece you’ve recently sent to prospects. What happens if you cross out your name and logo at the top and write in your competitor’s name? Does it still make sense?
Here’s an ad I recently found (honestly, I did not make this up). I only removed the name of the company…
Service is our Specialty!
Our depth of product lines, in-stock availability, competitive pricing, and unique services provide you with an unbeatable package. Everything we do has the emphasis on Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction. That’s why we say — “SERVICE IS OUR SPECIALTY!”
Not only could you include your competitors name on this ad, you could include any type of industry – it says absolutely nothing. What’s worse, this was taken from the Home page of their Web site – so readers will leave without seeing what they do and not one Search Engine will find them.
So before you send out another marketing piece, use these tests…and see the changes in your results.