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Priceless: The Creative Process Part 2

28 May, 2002 By: Wes Phillips imageSource

Priceless: The Creative Process Part 2

undercurrent running through each of these monthly advertising columns has been
to encourage each individual company (and, by extension, the firm’s marketing
leaders) to carefully define and understand what is being sold (or what should
be sold), how it is sold (or how it should be sold), who it is sold to, and what
those prospects really want from your company.


defining process has several useful purposes:

To enable you to have a clearer, more objective view of your marketing efforts.

To help you see your company as your prospects see it.

To help you make business and marketing adjustments as needed.

To simplify your marketing programs and thereby allow you to precisely focus
your advertising communication and investment on the correct issues.

To further your intention to be perceived as the marketing leader in your
product category within your geographic territory.


you have worked through this process, the essence of your advertising message is
already in place. Now, here are some basic guidelines to follow in creating and
shaping that message. These guidelines are fundamental to all media. Next month,
we will examine the production of the final “hard copy” product.



it or make it simple! Our creative and strategic team is convinced that breaking
seemingly complex issues down into their most simple or basic parts, and dealing
with those key issues, is the great panacea for powerful communication.


great sales person we have ever encountered has that ability to make his story
simple, direct, and easy – thereby pulling the prospect into his or her
“comfort zone.” Simplicity is also the key in creating successful,
result-oriented advertising.



with one simple thought. In advertising, it is called the “positioning
line.” It is the one umbrella theme that summarizes succinctly why a prospect
should want to do business with your company.


that your marketing positioning line may be different from your logo line. For
example, in the marketing program our agency developed for the bank client
mentioned in last month’s column, “The Sacred Trust of a Bank,” for the
positioning line, and “California’s strongest…since 1907,” for the logo


positioning line should be short, strong and in words that your prospect will
appreciate and understand. It is also important that the positioning line will
be carried out in all of your corporate communication to prospects—in every
ad, every sales contact, and even signage, or wherever else possible.



ad should define one specific part of the umbrella theme in a logical,
believable, and emotional manner. For instance, each ad for the bank client
defines one aspect of the bank’s “Sacred Trust” to its depositors and
customers. It then connected how strict management adherence to those sacred
trusts, which transformed the bank into “California’s Strongest.”



the years, our team has noticed that a significant portion of advertising
reminds us of certain styles of jazz, which is performed more for the enjoyment
of the musicians than the intended audience. Effective advertising must answer
the most fundamental question on the mind of each and every prospect,
“What’s In It For Me?” When sales people using the
feature/advantage/benefit system of selling spend 60-percent of their efforts on
features, 30-percent on advantages and only 10-percent on benefits, they
short-circuit their own success.


advertising, just as effective selling in today’s environment, requires a
strong, clear and passionate involvement with the prospect’s circumstances and
how your company can have a positive impact. Let your prospects know that you
understand what they need/want, then tell them what you are prepared to do to:
make them feel better, do a better job, save money, or look better in the eyes
of others.



you have gone through the analysis and defining process, you know the language
and mind-set of your customers and prospects. Use words and thoughts (and
pictures where appropriate), which are part of your customer and prospect’s
frame of reference. Make it both intellectually and emotionally easy for your
prospects to identify with your company’s benefits. Use the language of your
prospects, not the language of the industry.



many advertisers, their story is the greatest thing since sliced bread. However,
each prospect has read, heard, and seen it before. Therefore, they are
skeptical, hesitant, bored, and have developed the ability to ignore messages
which do not reach them in some special manner. So, it is important that every
advertising piece generates attention.


the positioning line meets the objective, while other times it may be a special
offer, a dramatically unique idea, or simply a well-turned phrase around a great
basic thought. In some circumstances, an ad that “shouts,” gets attention.
Under different circumstances, a “whisper,” like generous amounts of white
space in a print ad, gets attention.



Use only one central idea in each ad. Certainly each idea may have
several parts, but one central theme gives the ad the ability to sell. An ad
with one idea has more impact, gets more attention, and makes it easy for the
prospect to get involved because it is clear and simple.


Again, just like the salesperson who talks them
self out of a sale, too much ad copy is easy to ignore, requires too much work
to understand, and can be boring to a prospect who is only mildly interested at
this point in the buying cycle. Efficient use of words is powerful.



you have created the proper umbrella positioning line, and if you follow the
concepts of “one idea” and “less is more,” then you will also have the
opportunity to utilize repetition. Repetition is a basic tenet of the success
pattern of effective salespeople, persuasive politicians, children, and
advertising that gets attention and sells. Keep repeating the key issues,
benefits, and offers, often using exactly the same words and phrasing.
Repetition is simple; repetition works.



as the effective salesperson weaves a proactive assumptive tone throughout his
presentation, result-getting advertising uses words and thoughts that make the
prospect want to get more involved and take some further action. That action may
be to visit your showroom, make a phone call, try your product or perhaps to
simply pass the information along and encourage the appropriate person to take


people are invited into the process, they get involved when they feel
comfortable with the circumstances. An effective salesperson gets the attention
of their prospect, establishes rapport by exhibiting care and knowledge of the
buyer’s needs, and proceeds in an emotional way to a logical conclusion. The
salesperson uses words that are both believable and motivating to the prospect.
He or she also makes it clear how the prospect will benefit, and then helps the
prospect to easily take advantage of those benefits today. So just as the
salesperson locks the close into the benefit, a strong advertising message
connects the call to action with the benefit.


advertising is no different from good selling, except that the salesperson is
not face-to-face with the client. That is how effective advertising is created.

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