1. Target the right market. This means two things: (1) Use media that reach the right people at the right time; and (2) promote what matters to the customer, not to you. What you and your customer care about are rarely the same thing. You may be proud of your local ownership, your commitment to excellence/quality/service, or how long you’ve been in business. These things hardly matter to customers at all.
2. Extend a compelling FREE OFFER. Ignore this rule and you will miss out on four or more times the sales you could have made. You are welcome to believe that free offers are tacky or sound cheesy (whatever the heck “cheesy” means). But they work. (Still unconvinced? Scroll down and read my January 1 post, “Why your advertising needs a free offer.”)
3. Be clear and relevant. Most agencies make creativity their top prioirty. Big mistake. Creativity is the tool, not the objective. Ads that entertain rarely sell as well as straightforward ones. Note: Clear and relevant do not mean “boring.” (For more on this, buy my book and read Chapter 5, “The Great Creativity Debate.”)