This form of marketing was especially dominant at the state and local levels in the form of voter initiatives- propositions in California. Whether you felt intrigued or insulted over the ever increasing onslaught of commercials trying to influence your vote, many of these messages were cleverly concocted using the basic tenants of persuasive marketing: Interrupt, engage, educate and offer.
Most political campaigns have the luxury of seemingly limitless spending which tends to foster the strategy of endless repetition vs. using their message to target the market they want to reach. The average small business owner must exercise more judgment over directing their message to the intended customer target group. Here’s how small businesses can get the same hard hitting marketing impact while spending significantly less money (and potentially alienating fewer consumers).
- Commercials supporting political causes will frequently open with a bold or controversial statement that seeks to gain the audience’s attention with something shocking. Shocking statements, often revealing problems, are the most effective way to engage your target audience. For businesses, this means identifying a problem you know resonates with your potential customers. Whether the problem is the alleged cruel treatment of farm animals advanced by Prop 2 or finding out you don’t have the right automobile coverage after an accident as with one national insurance company, you now have your audience’s attention.
- Once the problem is defined, the message needs to provide a solution. Several propositions that sought funding for their projects advanced the idea of bond issues. In the prescription drug industry, launching a new drug that will control or eliminate an affliction is their mainstay. Solutions need to be well thought out to insure they reflect your unique approach to the problem and eliminate any risks that would prevent the target audience from accepting them.
- In order to solidify your position, a key fact must be provided that will validate your solution. In the bond issues example, announcing the fact that certain bonds would not increase taxes is a way to reduce the perceived risk the voter must consider before giving support. The golf equipment industry has been very successful at selling incredible varieties of clubs using technology and professional endorsements to appeal to the average golfer’s desire to lower their handicap.
- Once the table is set; all that is left is to invite your guest to dinner. Make your offer urgent with a ‘call to action’ statement. Every proposition commercial ends the same way by asking the viewer to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. This simple request is usually followed by a statement called ‘future pacing’, the desired outcome if the requested response is accepted by the viewer. Sprint Telecom is doing this very effectively by offering customers the opportunity to learn new things about their cell phones if they visit a Sprint store for service. Ultimately, your offer must be clear and compelling if you expect your marketing campaign to achieve your desired result.
As political events go, the 2008 election season had Madison Avenue’s best and brightest participating. Small businesses should definitely take note of the outcomes (both good and bad) before going to market with their message. The key to any persuasive marketing campaign is to follow the above recipe to insure your message resonates with the clients you want to attract.
Steve Smith has lived and worked in the Orange County, CA area for more than 15 years. As a sales and marketing professional with several nationally recognized consumer product companies, he established himself as an expert in brand marketing, networking and sales team development which earned him several awards and promotions to more strategic levels of responsibility. On the road constantly and dealing with increasingly unfulfilling work, he began looking for ways to use his talents to help businesses who did not have the resources that his prior companies all too often took for granted.
Smith serves small-business owners and entrepreneurs out of his OneCoach Saddleback Valley franchise. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in sales, marketing and management, along with practical strategies to enable all OneCoach members to achieve their financial goals faster, so they can live extraordinary lives.
OneCoach is the leader in small-business growth services, providing small-business owners with the tools and strategies necessary to grow their businesses faster. Smith combines his own innovative and practical ideas with the coaching, networking and best practices that OneCoach provides. For more information visit [http://www.saddlebackvalley.onecoach.com]