The pondering time she comes. Have you ever wondered if advertising copy is still king… you know the big kahuna of advertising… the apple of the marketing eye?
Heck, with all the modern “marketing devices” we have today, you may be wondering if copy is even relevant these days.
Let’s dive in and take a look-see. Check out any magazine you can find on the shelf these days and start thumbing through the pages. Pay keen attention to the ads.
What do you see?
If you are paying attention, you’ll notice most ads are scarcely worded, beautifully illustrated, oftentimes confusing, sometimes humorous, resembling pieces of artworks.
These ads do more entertaining than they do selling. They do very little promoting your business…
… and if you run advertising like this, then be prepared to have your bank account drained.
Hey, maybe I’m wrong. But can you really afford to entertain your prospective clients? Even if you’re in the entertainment business, you still need to sell your services, right?
I’ll tell you this: Media (places to run your advertising) doesn’t come cheap. Most established publications costs big bucks. And if you don’t believe me, then give ’em a call and ask for their rate sheets. Be sure to be seated when looking over the costs… it’s shocking.
Makes you wonder why anyone would spend big money on such waste. In my book, advertising and marketing should increase your bottom line, not shrink it. Right?
What’s worse, we believe this is how advertising should be. It’s the status quo, the norm of advertising as we know it, right?
After all, seeing decades upon decades worth of this “traditional advertising” being run makes it’s true, right?
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
And I’ll prove it.
OK, for now I’ll save you the rest of the rant and answer the question posed in the article title.
The short and dirty answer is…
I humbly submit to you to check the stats of any high-functioning business that uses proven marketing methods. At the root of their marketing you’ll see direct response marketing and the main sales driver.
These guys can tell you down to the cent if their ads are working (meaning pulling in actual, tangible results, i.e. dollars, leads, store visits, etc.) or not.
The reason you should be using direct response type marketing is because everything is tracked and the results are counted.
The advertising copy is a written sales message from start to end. It does a complete selling job, gives reasons why you should buy, makes a risk-free offer and asks for the sell – just like in a real live face-to-face selling situation.
These “direct response” business types always test and track aspects of their advertising copy for maximum effectiveness. Then, they test again and again to get maximum results for the money spent.
For example, they may test different offers, headlines, opening paragraphs or various guarantees.
Again, they know, with scientific certainty if the advertisement tested works or not. The guesswork is completely removed… no more mystery marketing and the waste that naturally goes with it.
Pretty damn cool, huh?
So, at the heart of any truly effective marketing or advertising program is the message or advertising copy that you send to your prospects and clients.
Think about it. The ad copy is your message that gets delivered to your ideal prospect or client. It’s your company’s primary mouthpiece and “salesperson.” It’s the essential communication your prospect or client sees and reads.
So, is copy still king? YES. YES. YES.
But keep in mind that copy and copy alone won’t do the trick growing your business. It’s not the holy grail of marketing. That’s a different topic for a different day.
Running a successful marketing program is not just one-single, solitary piece. Rather it’s more like a puzzle with many constitute parts all working together towards a common goal.
To clarify further, my definition of “copy is king”, is turning it from incoherent dribble to a complete sales message. One that’s written with the customer in mind. One that does a complete and thorough job of selling.
I’ve written about this before but if you do your homework and a good job of researching the product, marketplace and prospect before you write, then you stand a decent chance of communicating and not just putting meaningless words on paper or a computer screen.
One of the best quick marketing formulas I know of is the marketing triangle. I learned this from none other than master marketer Dan Kennedy.
I have written about this before too, but it’s worth repeating. It goes something like this:
Picture a triangle. Each side of the triangle has a label. One side is labeled “Message.” Another is labeled “Market.” And finally, the remaining side is labeled “Media.”
Again, in simple terms it’s a way to think about your entire marketing plan.
“The Correct Message sent to the Correct Market using the Correct media.”
It’s the what, who and how…
… what is the message.
… who are you sending it to.
… how are you going to reach your target market.
Yes, I thought so too.
So, is copy still the big cheese, the king?
Damn right… IF it’s done correctly.
I know this was a quick article and hit upon a lot of ideas. We’re just hitting the surface here. But my goal, as always, is to help you get the absolute maximum results from every cent you spend on advertising.
So, the next time you start a new advertising campaign, consider the ideas presented here.
And if you are tired of dumping big bucks down the advertising toilet and you’d like better results, then I encourage you to give me a shout.
And lastly, if you have questions about this article or would like to see a particular subject covered, then shoot me a line. I’m always happy to help.