Advertising: It’s not rocket science. 10 Advertising mistakes and how to avoid them. Part 2.


Last time we touched on;

  • Not knowing why you’re in business.
  • Not having an Advertising Plan
  • And not maintaining your advertising.

Let’s jump straight into the next 4 advertising mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. Not having a consistent branding message across all media. 

In the white heat of running a small business you can end up spending all your time working in it rather than on it. And that can be reflected in your advertising messages. You end up having one message for the newspaper, another one for the TV, a different one for the radio and a haphazard post on your business Facebook page.

The key to effective advertising is to have the one strong clear message about your business on all the media you are using and that includes social.

When your potential customers see your TV ad, then later hear your radio ad, they should instantly recognise it as the same business. It’s about making sure people remember you and remember exactly what you’re about.

However you don’t need the budget or marketing prowess of Coke or Nike to achieve this for your business. Here are a couple of simple ways you can start to synergise your brand messages:

  • Use the same voice over / Music for TV and Radio
  • Have the same slogan for all advertising.
  • Use the same idea / message across every advertising opportunity.
  • Hire an advertising company to do it all for you.
  1. Not knowing your target demographic.

When you know exactly who your customers are, you are in a very powerful position. Most small business owners use a scatter gun approach in how they advertise, hoping to hit ‘as many people as possible’, when in reality not everyone is going to buy from them. It’s a waste of time trying to sell something to someone who simply isn’t interested in your product or service.

But it makes sense to talk directly to the people who are.

With advertising, it’s about talking directly to the people would be interested in your product and showing how it’s relevant to them. That way they’re more likely to buy from you.

Key points to keep in mind.

  • Talk to your customer in their language so they can relate to you.
  • Talk about what’s relevant to them.
  • Keep in mind their motivations and interests.
  1. Not focusing on your customer.

Often most small business owners talk about themselves in their advertising.

Here’s a a couple of examples:

‘We have the latest equipment’ and ‘Bill and the team have been around for 15 years’.

When in fact as you’ve seen with the Target Demographic, it should be all about the customer. Show them why they should use you and why their life is going to be better.

When we write commercials, we talk directly to the listener about the client instead of saying how wonderful the client / business is.

‘We have the latest equipment’

Then becomes:

‘Having the latest diagnostic equipment, means that Croyden Auto Repairs will pick up any issue before it becomes a problem’.


“Bill and the team have been around for 15 years’.

Then becomes:

‘After 15 years fixing all sorts of car problems, the team at Croyden Auto Repairs will know how to fix yours.’

  1. Putting too much information into the one commercial.

One important thing to remember: People can’t remember too much!

In fact people can usually only remember one clear and concise thing at a time. So it’s not very effective to load your commercial with lots of information, different ideas or lists of things you sell. People just won’t remember it. It’s a waste of advertising space and money!


If you overload anything, it simply won’t work

Here’s the way people will remember your advertising:

  • If it’s a simple idea / concept.
  • It’s relevant to them.
  • It engages them. (humour / storytelling / anecdote)

If you own a camping shop, you may be tempted to promote everything you have in store, but from your customer’s point of view that would be pretty boring. Instead you could have a commercial that shows how some of the products can be used in a humorous fashion. That would more relevant and engaging to the customer than a list of everything in the store.

Next time we’ll look at the last three key mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. Wanting the ad to sound or look like an ad.
  2. Not measuring the results properly.
  3. Not trusting yourself.

Make sure you click ‘Follow’ so you don’t miss them.

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