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What All Businesses Can Learn from the Campaign of the Year

December 23, 2009

My previous post (found here) was about AdWeekMedia named Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign the best of the decade.  They cited Apple’s ability to humanize their brand and show the difference between them and Microsoft in a relatable way as the main reasons for its effectiveness and crowning of the title.  After a day or so of thinking, I realized this campaign is a great learning tool for all business owners who want improve their marketing.

The first basic idea of marketing is gain awareness.  This is the pond where most small businesses tend to tread.  Too many times you see an ad for a dry cleaners with just the name and a coupon, or a restaurant ad with the type of food and a slogan/logo.  These types of ads (which are by far the most popular) are satisfied with just getting their name out to the masses, and hoping for the best.  A business can accomplish much more than just awareness with an ad.

As you move to advanced marketing strategy, differentiating your business becomes extrememly important.  All businesses need to do this by presenting rational and emotional benfits that set them apart from their competition.    This is where Apple has had major success (these ads just being one example). 

In order to be a better marketer of your business, think like Apple.

As a consumer, why should I care about YOUR dry cleaners? Or YOUR gift shop?  When coming up with your next campaign, instead of telling me what you are, show me what you can do for me.  If you just tell me your services offered; I could find a hundred substitutes for services just like yours.  Tell me the unique benefits that your establishment will give me.

Apple did this perfectly.  Instead of talking about specs, or computers even, they talked about everyday advantages of the Mac, and common problems with PCs.  Apple wasn’t selling computers, they were selling a more reliable and stress free way to compute.  A message that obviously resonated with consumers.

Instead of communicating “we have gifts for everyone on your list”; try something like “Our specially trained staff will take the stress out of present buying”.  Now you’re not just a gift store, you’re a store which I can look to for help with my shopping. 

If you have a dry cleaners don’t tell me “In by 9, out by 5”, show me the benefits of using YOUR service: “We know you don’t like doing your laundry, so let us do it!”  Now you aren’t a commoditized service anymore, you offer a product with a unique benefit.  (Hmmm, I hate doing my laundry; maybe I should look into it)

To sum this marketing tip in a wwwwY phrase: Show (benefits) don’t tell (services). 

If you do this correctly, you will connect with potential customers on a much deeper level and your sales will thank you. 

So small businesses: SHOW ME SOMETHING!!

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