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How to tell your ad is bad

You won't believe me when I say this.

You won't do it, even though it's easy.

You won't do it because you think you're different.

You won't do it because if I'm right it'll be painful.

You won't do it because it'll hurt your pride.

Here's what you won't do:

Take what you think is your best ad...and replace your name with your biggest competitor's...and see if the ad still makes sense.

Chances are high it will...


make sense.

(Please remove all sharp objects from your reach and refrain from sending any emails or making any phone calls to your current ad team for at least 33 minutes.)

That makes it a bad ad.

When you sound, look, and act like your competitors, the only way your prospects can differentiate you from the competition is price.

Price is only an issue when your customer does not see your value.

To create value in the minds of your ideal customers you must stir their emotions, you must hit a nerve, you must create nostalgia, you must entertain, you must create a connection, and you must create hope.

Note the absence of pitching or the hard close.

Note the absence of applying tricks or high pressure tactics. 

Note the absence of being boring or cookie-cutter.

The powerful marketer Gary Vaynerchuk says we are in the age of "attention arbitrage." While the name sounds cool and new and hip, businesses have always been in this situation.

Today, though, the attention span of your audience is as little as 3-6 seconds and is being attacked by not only their computers and smart phones, but also their wristwatches, their tablets, good-ol' direct mail, DVRs, video-on-demand, satellite radio, and road rage, to name but a few.

That's why you must open big and close big.

By big I mean entertaining.

By entertaining I mean unpredictable.

If we can connect the dots we'll tune out.

When you present your business dots in a manner that can be connected, you will be called boring.

Never be boring in your marketing and advertising.

Use verbs.

Use active, possessive voice so your ideal customer inserts herself into your ad and can see herself benefitting from what you offer.

Spice it up with another little surprise fact and include how you got your start or developed your offering or quirkiness and watch the phone start ringing and the cash register start singing.

Need a nudge and a shoulder to cry on when your pride gets hurt? (A doubling in sales always soothes any ding to the pride.) 

Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.