Advertising is a multi-million dollar lucrative business. It’s also a nuisance when you're trying to watch your favorite TV show! There you are, clutching onto the edge of your couch, just waiting for the drama to unfold and poof! It segues into a quarterly interval of advertisements. You curse and think, “No! Put the show back on!”- your natural reflexes kicking in as you reach for the remote control…
You’re an entrepreneur; you understand the concepts of features and benefits, right? Well, you might want to hold on to the thought of switching the channel, and choose instead to obediently sit through that 30 seconds of visual feasts.
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to fork out thousands of dollars into producing your own TV commercial. But studying the ads is a good way of picking up tips on how to sell your product’s benefits. (Well, it’s either this or tapping into your funds and enrolling in a local university and graduating with a Bachelors in Marketing in a few years.)
Advertising is all about embellishing the benefits. In commercials, chocolates are now personified and can sing and even talk. Suddenly, having a soda in hand means you are bestowed the ability to fulfill your wildest dreams. Sipping on an alcoholic beverage can lead you to realize self-fulfilling prophecies.
Advertisements make the impossible possible. That is not your job as an entrepreneur. Such advertisements play on exaggeration and humor to catch the attention of customers. Advertisements generate buzz and create strong brand awareness. They pique the interest of the consumers. However, the iridescent colors and out-of-this-world treatment ideas are not what you should be interested in.
Telling your customers that your product can conjure mythical creatures is not going to bode well for your business. Convincing them to take your product and jump right out of the window is also not going to be well-received, not even if you’re selling hard, medieval shields.
OK, so here's your homework. With every advertisement you see on TV, strip it of its fancy execution and bizarre ideas. What is the underlying message? What is the business owner trying to tell his customers? How do they communicate these benefits to potential customers and feed them the information on the product’s features at the same time? How do you think the business owners derive at these benefits? Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you will be able to sit down and think about your own business. Listing the features is a no-brainer activity. Pondering the benefits - that can take a while. Relate these benefits to your target audience.
Another reason why I’m asking you to study advertisements is this: you can churn out a very riveting list of features and benefits of your products, but you must know how to use it wisely. Notice how advertisements sell the key benefits in less than thirty seconds. That’s all the time they have, and that’s all the time you have with your customers. When you earn the initial attention of your customers, it’s imperative that you sell your products’ features and benefits in no more than half a minute. Their roving eyes are already scanning the next shop. Hearing about the benefits will keep their attention on you for a while, so you've got to sell the benefits!
You already know the features and benefits by heart, so it’s easy for you to promote your product. This is where many business owners make the mistake of shooting off their mouths. Always answer your customers directly. Customers ask about a particular feature because that’s the deal-breaker aspect for them. So in order to make your advertising dollars make, make sure you’ve addressed their concerns before you go on to promote more benefits.