Do Ads Annoy You?
Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that ads annoy them. In fact, some advertising agencies will tell you that ads are supposed to annoy you, their job being to get your attention. But do they have to take that approach?
As a businessperson, do ads annoy you? How about standard television commercials, or those new ads that creep along the bottom of the screen in the middle of your favourite program, or the ones that stalk you when you are surfing the internet? On the face of it, you should be more accommodating, after all you probably advertise your company, or what you sell. But are you?
Netflix and other streaming services have become increasingly popular in part because they are free of advertising. But then, Super Bowl advertisements are fan favourites. So, perhaps it’s not so much advertising that is unpopular but the advertisements themselves, or the way they are presented.
As a business you need to promote yourself in one way or another and if you use advertising, do you know whether it’s working or not? Do people find it annoying or offensive? Is it making people more or less likely to do business with you? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your advertising may not only be a waste of money, but it could be alienating the very people you are trying to attract.
People don’t hate advertising, they hate bad advertising. They hate intrusive advertising and advertising that insults their intelligence. So how do you create advertising that works, whether that’s television, radio, print media, online or whatever?
Whether you are trying to build brand, or name awareness, or simply encouraging people to come to your retail outlet and check out your merchandise; here are 11 tips to give your outreach a better chance of success:
- Create a strong narrative – tell great stories.
- Make your ads content rich.
- Relate your message/story to your target market.
- Make your ads relatable to real life customer experiences.
- Use actual customers in your advertising. See next point.
- Be honest in your advertising; advertise with integrity. Prices from … rarely tells the whole truth.
- Avoid exaggeration and hyperbole (it’s very doubtful your product will change someone’s life forever!).
- Make your ads entertaining and accessible.
- Never underestimate the intelligence of your customers or prospective customers.
- Make your advertising educational (articles, tips, advice, how-to videos; useful apps etc.) Make yourself valuable.
- Demonstrate social awareness – let people know what your company stands for; its position regarding the local community, the environment, charitable giving.
An advertisement is only effective if people actually read, listen or watch it; otherwise it’s just background noise at best and annoying and detrimental to your credibility at worst.
Do not develop your advertising campaign in isolation, reach out to real customers and use them to test market your advertising before launching it the world. Just because you like it, doesn’t mean your customers will.
Should You be Targeting Seniors?
Only you can decide whether targeting seniors makes sense for your business. And what constitutes a senior anyway? Seniors’ discounts start at 55 and there are clubs and residential communities who use that age as a defining factor. Statistically, in Canada, over 30 per cent of the population (approximately 11.2 million) are 55 plus. For most people however, it’s at least 60 years of age, and more commonly 65 when the scale tips toward “old age” or when senior status is bestowed. Almost 17 per cent of Canada’s population is over 65-year-olds; that’s a market of more than 6 million people. By 2030 that number is predicted to rise to 9.5 million.
Canada’s seniors are healthier, living longer, and retiring later. Of course, if you sell surf boards, or high-performance motorcycles then the over 65 cohort may not be one you are going to focus too much time on, but for most businesses it may well offer a “golden” opportunity to reach out to an easily definable market sector.
Research has shown that marketers massively overestimate the spending power of the 35 and under sector, while underestimating how much older consumers spend.
The senior’s market is changing, as consumers in later years not only enjoy a healthier lifestyle but have a far more modern, outgoing, fashion conscious, and experience-driven outlook than the generation that preceded them.
They also have more disposable income than in the past. In just over a decade, the participation rate of seniors in the Canadian labour force has more than doubled, increasing from 6.0 percent in 2000 to 13.0 percent in 2013.
All this means that seniors are a market to be taken seriously. More than ever, they know what they want and are often less hesitant about moving forward with purchases quickly. And remember they are often motivated by experiences, so consider that when developing your marketing strategy.
Surprisingly, most companies still seem to be focusing on the younger demographic. This means your competition may be ignoring a sector of the market which you could find lucrative. What are you doing to attract seniors to your products and services?
Here are a few ideas to get you started on your seniors’ marketing strategy.
- As Facebook is the number one platform enjoyed by seniors, it makes sense to consider setting up a business Facebook page for your business. And make no mistake, seniors do buy online—perhaps not in the same numbers as millennials, but their numbers are growing.
- As mentioned earlier, many seniors are keen on experiences so consider hosting an event or reception especially for them at your bricks and mortar location, or at another exciting location. Alternatively sponsor an event such as a classic car show and have a booth at which you can hand out information or samples to those attending.
- Another way to reach seniors is to create a newsletter or other type of publication which provides useful information relating to seniors and your product or service; as an example, realtors are especially good at sending out newsletters focusing on real estate and build strong and lasting relationships with clients. Offering special discounts through this medium will also encourage readers to reach out to you and your business.
Seniors are a valid market, a market often overlooked by companies that don’t have products or services specifically aimed at them. Think older and you’ll be surprised what a welcoming market awaits you.
Coach’s Corner – Making Important Things Urgent
We can classify things or activities as being Important and Not Important. Likewise, we can categorize these as being of an Urgent or Not Urgent nature.
When things are important and urgent, we know it is imperative that we deal with them quickly. Somehow, they are viewed as a crisis or the immediacy is due to an imposed deadline or time constraint. Whatever the reason, the urgency and importance are clear to us. We are required to take swift and immediate action. We sense there are consequences if we don’t attend to them sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, there are things that we also see as important without feeling a real sense of urgency. Yes, we need to deal with them, but time is not of the essence. There is no crisis or looming deadline because that deadline is in the future, not in the present.
“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Author
Too often in our daily lives, the urgent overrides the non-urgent. And in many cases, we are distracted by the urgent and not important. That is, we become busy with doing things that don’t really matter to us in the long run. To ensure that we focus on the important things, we must ask ourselves the questions that lead us to deciding what those important things truly are.
If these important and non-urgent items on our “list” are truly imperative to our success in achieving a desired outcome or goal, then how do we elevate them to taking priority over other urgent matters that may not be as important? How do we create the sense of urgency to ensure they get done?
Here are a number of questions that may help us create that sense of urgency to drive us forward and keep us motivated to accomplish important goals in our business and life.
- What is the desired outcome we wish to achieve? What are the intermediate steps to be taken? It is important to think clearly about the outcome, plan for its implementation and set priorities.
- What is our deadline for this outcome? What do we need to do each day? How do we ensure we keep mindful of the outcome? Setting a deadline, as if it was imposed upon us, and then working towards it on a daily basis will increase our chances of success.
- How do we celebrate the small successes of each of the steps? Ensuring that we recognize and acknowledge the accomplishment of the small steps, will further increase our chances of success and of achieving the outcome.
Finding a way to ensure that the important and not urgent things in our life receive our attention is guaranteed by creating a sense of urgency and working as if there is a looming deadline or a crisis.
“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Jim Rohn, Motivational Speaker
– Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching