Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Solve Your Reader's Problems - Not Yours

Picture your consumers/customers/readers as the cat.

Picture yourself as... well... the guy.

Your marketing message is not about you!

Humorous Pictures

The message may seem obvious - and yet so often I see copy that just out-and-out blows it.

Latest example came at a NHL hockey game, walking amongst the crowd during intermission...

Along comes a young lady holding a sign: “50/50 raffle – get your tickets here”.

I walk right by, briefly wondering what's a "50/50 raffle". I see a few more people holding similar signs, and ignore them (like just about everyone else).

Next week, go to another game. Same people with same sign. Finally, I stop one of them...

"What's the deal with this?" I ask.

"What do you mean?" she says.

"What's the deal with the raffle?" I elaborate.

"Oh, the winner gets 50% of all the money from the tickets sold. It's usually about $1000".

Ahhh - now we are getting somewhere.

"Maybe your sign should mention that," I offer.

"Oh, okay, thanks." she says.

I'm going to a game Friday night. We'll see if they changed, but I'm not counting on it.

Too bad.

How many more tickets do you think would they sell if the sign read "Win $1000 Tonight" instead of "50/50 Raffle"?

Or they could even address a deeper benefit: "Win Free Hockey Tickets Tonight!" (and explain that with the cash you could pay for future tickets).

Wouldn't that be an improvement? What would your raffle sign say?


PokerRules said...

Hey Charlie,

Great graphical illustration of an important point!

Nothing like a cat to put you in your place!


Ken said...

Charlie: Thanks for the reminder! It's true: nobody much cares if your dog died, your girlfriend ran off with the hired hand, or your bank account is empty - unless, of course, you happen to be a country music star.

You have your readers' attention to the extent you have THEIR problems/concerns/benefit at the forefront of your message. It's no different in real estate (our business), copywriting, landscaping, or any other business.

Thanks for a great post.