By John Houle

‘You’ is the most powerful word to include in your marketing. Not only should the actual word be written and heard in all print, radio, television and Internet marketing, it needs to be the true focus of your marketing. When your company is communicating its message to potential customers who are flipping through the newspaper, listening to the news, or watching their favorite show, do not miss the opportunity to reach them by making an ad all about your company or service; make the ad about how your company or service benefits your customer.

Show them their benefits, not your features.
Too much time and money is spent detailing the features of your products with less regard for the person purchasing them. Effective marketing is not 30 seconds of bragging about how great your company is, nor is it a quarter page ad in the newspaper listing all your company’s features such as “open 24/7,” “representing numerous companies,” and “open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.” People have come to expect these features, so you no longer need to list them. Simply put, illustrate to your potential customers how your company can make their own lives better with the better product or service that you can provide them.

Let me give you an example. Instead of me telling you in an ad that JH Communications “provides integrated marketing solutions,” I am better off writing that JH Communications: “integrates all of your marketing to ensure that a clear message is communicated to your customers.” If you saw an ad for my company that offered some industry term called “integrated marketing,” you probably would gloss over it. But, if you saw that your own company could benefit from my service to you, then that may just appeal to you.

Sometimes, marketing is simply the application of good common sense. Directly appealing to a person watching or reading your ad should come as natural as that conversation a salesperson makes when pitching a product or service. Imagine, a potential customer listening to a salesperson detail the 50-year history of the company and then speak about the 20 employees, 10 companies, convenient parking, and Saturday business hours. The customer then turns to the salesperson and shouts, “Nice, but how can you save me money or provide me better service.”