Most of Us Need More than this Standard Doctor's Advertising Messageby J.W. Abraham on 09/14/15
You know the message.
You have seen it many times.
When many doctors' offices want new patients they would advertise simply with the message "Now Accepting New Patients".
Oh, how most of us wish we could rely on this message.
This falls into the most basic of advertising messages.
Of course, most of us need a more compelling message than that.
Here, I provide three levels of advertising messages and how each can have its place. It may provide a framework for you to develop your advertising message and strategy.
1. Hey, I'm Here!
This is the most basic. This is the category in which the doctor's message falls.
But, it can be an effective tactic for a variety of businesses. Not just health care. It could be other businesses that we all need from time to time...a bank, an accountant, heating and air conditioning or an insurance agent just to name a few.
When customers do need services in your industry you want to be on their radar screen.
Such advertising may not include those famous words like the doctors do when they say "Now accepting new patients." That may be taken as a little arrogant coming from another business. But it is effectively saying the same thing by just advertising your business name, maybe just with your tagline or contact information.
It is saying here we are. We are open for business, and are ready when you are.
Now, this may require some commitment and repetition of your advertising. This is to make sure customers think of you when they are ready. They may happen to see your business name just at the time they are thinking of your service. Or they may recall it from the many times they have seen your name from earlier advertising. You want customers to say to themselves "Hey...I know that name. Maybe I will call them to find out more."
I have seen many businesses do this type of advertising. I bet you have too. You see a business name over and over in a newspaper, magazine, on a website or on a billboard. You may not give them too much thought...until you need them.
2. Convey a Generic Benefit of Your Service or Product
This a step up from the "Hey, I'm Here!" stage.
It often involves reminding your customer what your product or service will do for them.
It is nothing earth shattering here. Nothing new really. They are benefits that almost everyone in your industry can make.
For instance, if it is a winter coat it could be how it keeps you warm and toasty.
All the time I see advertising from dentists about how they can help brighten my teeth or smile.
And from tax accountants, I see their ads about how they can save me money.
Now, some of you may be thinking well duh? Aren't those benefits understood?
Yes, they probably are. But, even these basic benefits seem to resonate more than just advertising your name like in the first category.
What's more, you can expand these basic benefits. These still may be fairly basic benefits that most anyone in your industry can offer, but they can reach the customer on a little deeper level.
For tax accountants, you may want to add what that tax savings could be used for...like to take a dream vacation.
You see this same approach with home lenders all the time. Instead of just saying we can give you an inexpensive loan, they often say how you can use that loan like to do remodeling job to turn your house into a dream home.
So, when you add a benefit you may want to see how you can take your basic benefits up a notch.
3. Tell the Customer Something Different About Your Product or Service
This is the type of message most of us should shoot for...especially those of us in very competitive industries.
The first two types of messages may get you a few customers. But your many competitors are also likely to advertise their name and promote the same basic benefits.
So, to get the number of customers you really want you need to separate yourself from the pack. This is often referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It is a concept attributed to advertising legend, Rosser Reeves.
It basically deals with how in your advertising you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
One way to do this is to tell what is different about your product, service or business. Maybe you have a certain technology that makes your product or service better. Maybe it is convenience. For instance, you may be located in an easily accessible location or open during evenings and weekends in an industry where most are closed during those times. Or maybe you could emphasize a certain niche that you serve. For an accountant, it could be a certain industry or small business.
Of course, for many businesses there is just not much of a difference.
In this case, your USP, could be simply saying something different about your product or service that none of your other competitors are making (even if they could make it).
Now, this latter strategy can be hard. Really hard. It may take some digging to find out what you can say new.
But, the rewards can be great. Maybe much greater than saying "Now Accepting New Customers".