Earlier today I had the opportunity to look over the marketing materials of three small Kelowna business owners. While you may not live in Kelowna the advice will still apply to you. Because good marketing concepts will work no matter where you live. One business owner showed me her new business card, another showed a two-sided brochure on card stock and the last was as sales letter. What the all had in common was that at least once on each marketing piece there was a reason for the reader to disconnect.
What is a disconnect? A disconnect with your marketing means that the words and sometimes the images that you use stops the natural flow of the message. What is the purpose of each word in your marketing copy? To get you to read the next word. What is the purpose of each sentence in your marketing materials? To get you to read the next sentence. Once your reader runs into a disconnect they 99% likely to stop reading because of confusion. Remember, when it comes to your audience and your marketing materials, the confused mind always says “NO.”
Why did their marketing materials cause a disconnect?
In the case of the first small business owner, besides being over-crowded with text, the very first word of the first line of text made me say to myself, “Huh?” She was offering a line of skin care products. She led with, “Safe for use on” and below were a list of skin conditions. The fact that this product line won’t hurt you cannot be their leading reason to want to try it. That isn’t a clear enough benefit to move someone to pay for it.
The second small business owner did what most small business owners do, they tried to get the most bang for their buck. She operates two businesses that are not really related or attract the target audience. To save money she put one business on one side and the second business on the other side. That was confusing enough but it was the side she wanted me to evaluate as a marketing piece that caught my attention. But not in a good way. She had two questions. near the top of the brochure separated by an image. Each question targeted a different segment of her desired market. The image related more to the first but the text from the second question ran across the lower half of the image. Again, more confusion.
The third small business owner showed me a sales letter he had sent out with only a miniscule response. Besides being cold and traditional in terms of marketing impact it made some disconnect moves right at the beginning. One was to use the salutation, “Dear Sir or Madame.” When I teach people how to write a sales letter I make them understand that every line has to be selling or moving the reader closer to taking action. Dear Sir or Madame doesn’t do that. If you do not know their name then forget the salutation altogether. Go directly into getting their attention. The reader isn’t going to be offended that you didn’t refer to them as one of the two genders.
So when you are putting together your marketing materials watch for the disconnects. It is always a good idea to have someone with some marketing savvy to read over your marketing materials before you put them into play. Unfortunately for the two small business owners they had printed large supplies of the ineffective marketing materials and felt compelled to use them up until they were gone. Hopefully they will not lose out on potential business because their target market disconnected and never kept reading.
If you would like to know if your marketing materials have a disconnect or potential disconnect please contact me to take a look at your marketing pieces. If you are a kelowna small business owner or professional let’s meet for coffee we’ll go over your marketing materials together. Connect with me on Linkedin.