I’m Mad as Hell and I Refuse to be an Advertising Victim

I stopped being an advertising victim in 1992 when I was first introduced to Dan Kennedy Marketing, and it is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. I’m happy to say I haven’t been an advertising victim for 13 years.

If you have been in business for awhile, it has already happened to you – probably more than once. In fact, probably often. And if you are new to the retail world, you can bet the mortgage that it will eventually happen to you.

What is it? It’s when you get that big black checkbook out of the center desk drawer, and you sit down across from some media salesperson, and you write out some kind of a check for some amount, for some kind of promotion advertising expense, and you have no earthly idea whether you made a good decision, bad decision, when you’ll know, how you’ll know, if you’ll know.

I detest that kind of uncertainty. I don’t like to play guesswork games with my money and I bet you don’t either. I’m going to tell you how to eliminate it, how to make every dollar you spend on advertising and marketing measurable and accountable.

The Best Place To Spend Your Hard Earned Money On Advertising Is Direct Response!!

All advertising can be one of only two types – either “Institutional Advertising” or “Direct Response Advertising.” It is monumentally important to understand the difference.

Most advertising in magazines, newspapers, on radio, TV, and billboards is institutional advertising. It is Institutional advertising because in most cases, there is no way of accurately tracking response. Most advertising agencies like institutional advertising since, without tracking, they canNOT be held responsible for zero results. If an ad campaign does not produce the results they want, they blame it on:

1. The economy
2. The weather
3. You didn’t run the ad often enough
4. YOU (your merchandise, your service, your image, etc.)

You Can’t Deposit “Creativity” In The Bank

Unfortunately, most advertising agencies are interested In being creative and cutesy.

That’s what wins advertising awards. I think this is absolutely ridiculous. The advertising field gives awards based on creativity, not results. Many ads that have won top awards didn’t produce any substantial increases in sales.

Direct response advertising, on the other hand:

1. Contains a headline that flags your prospect and creates curiosity
2. Creates interest in the merchandise
3. Creates desire in the prospect
4. Has a specific offer
5. Has a deadline
6. Has measurable results

Why is this so important? Two reasons:

1. Most businesses have limited capital to spend on their marketing and advertising (unless you are a multi-billion dollar company). Since you have a limited budget, why waste it on advertising that you are not sure is working?

2. The only reason a business would advertise is to get more customers and sell more merchandise. A direct response ad concentrates only on this purpose. First, it contains a headline that attracts the attention of the specific customer you want to in your store(s).

Then, it makes a complete and compelling case for the reason for your offer. Next, it proves to the customer that the reason for the offer will solve some problem in the customer’s life or provide some valuable benefit to him.

It states specific reasons, facts, and statistics, as well as testimonials from other customers to validate the claims. Then it tells the reason why you are able to make such an attractive offer. It tells the customer what to do in order to gain the benefits of the offer.

It creates “urgency” by telling the customer that he must act now in order to gain these important benefits, and why this offer is so limited, either by time, or by the quantity available.

Finally, it must contain a way for you to track exactly what sales or customers were generated by that particular ad.

Now that I have defined for you the difference between institutional and direct response advertising, here’s the big question that you have to ask yourself before you make every future marketing and advertising decision. Does the advertising that you are considering meet all six of the criteria that I outlined above? If is doesn’t, then pass on it as quickly as you can say:

“I’m Mad as Hell and I Refuse to Be an Advertising Victim Again!”