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John Wanamaker, a department store mogul from the late 1800s, once lamented: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half." If you’re a small business owner trying to grow, or even just survive in challenging times, you’ve probably felt the same frustration.
One area where I observe a great deal of waste is content. Once you’ve done your due diligence to select an advertising vehicle with the greatest potential to deliver your ideal audience, don’t drop the ball with a pointless message.
You can help avoid this pitfall by applying the "so what?" test to your advertising message. Consider each statement in your current or planned advertising, and imagine your perfect prospect crossing their arms and saying "So what?" in response to each point. In other words, why should that statement matter? Remember to explain what’s in it for the would-be customer. Back up statements with content that explains who benefits, and how. Here are a couple of examples:
1. The refrigerator door has a textured finish. So what? The finish hides annoying fingerprints. Aha! Mom spends less time cleaning up after everyone.
2. You offer evening appointments. So what? People don’t have to take time off work to see you. That fits conveniently into a busy person’s schedule.
Even with an aggressive budget, you can’t afford to waste money on advertising that doesn’t deliver. If you consistently apply the "so what?" test to your content, your potential customers can feel confident their purchase of your goods or service is justified by the benefits you provide. Confidence opens wallets.
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