Father’s Day Funeral Sale? Advertising Bloopers!

August 25, 2016 - 6 minutes read

Driving past my local shops last week I had to do a double-take at this sign:

Funeral - Book Now

“Interesting advertising from a funeral parlour” I think to myself. They usually go for the emotive advertising campaigns rather than an in-your-face LED sign. I was even more intrigued when the next screen popped up!

Fathers Day Sale FuneralsHappy Father’s Day Dad! We’ve bought you your …… funeral!?! 

Fortunately, I soon realised that the LED sign was actually promoting the local pizza restaurant. The restaurant owners had put the sign in their car park, but they clearly didn’t think through the fact it was placed right next to White Lady Funerals sign.

Marketing campaigns don’t have to be complex or expensive, but they do need to be done well. Clearly this signage is not totally wasted and people will get what it is all about. But it did get me thinking of some simple steps we can take to get it right.

1. The message was right – shame about the execution

It was a clear call to action – “Book Now”. But the physical positioning of the message meant it wasn’t for me, so I moved on. Whether the execution of the advertising is in the physical positioning of a sign or advert, in the timing, or the delivery, it is crucial to effectively capturing the attention of your audience.

However, this is something you have clear control over. Too often we spend all our time and effort creating a product only to fall down at the last hurdle of effectively taking it to market. Then it is panic stations and all systems go taking a scatter-gun approach or near-enough-is-good-enough. Taking time to plan your strategy and execute your tactics effectively will definitely reap you more rewards.

(By-the-way if you want to procrastinate writing your next blog article it is quite entertaining to Google badly positioned ads.)

2. Take a step back a step back and look at the big picture.

If only they had crossed the road to check out the positioning of this sign.

It is highly likely you are too close to the product or service that you are selling. Understandable – right? For many of us, running our own business is all consuming and can take up too much head space. The danger, of course, is we know what we mean, what we are selling, how we deliver it. So why doesn’t everyone else get it?

Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture of your messaging to make sure it can be viewed in the way you intend it to be viewed. Asking someone else, unrelated to what you are doing, can be a worthwhile investment to make the most out of your marketing dollar.

And this doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise either. You probably have someone in your circle of family or friends who matches your target market. Ask them for feedback and how they view what you are offering.

Or buy yourself some time: when you have been working on something closely put it down and walk away. Allow yourself some time to do something else and come back to it with fresh eyes later.

3. Make sure your customers can ‘get it’ the first time

It only took me a matter of seconds to realise who this sign really belonged to. But if your customers are having to go through that kind of thought process about your messaging then something about it is not right.

In this instance, when driving down a busy road people only have a matter of seconds to take in advertising such as this. It’s the same wherever you are. You only have a very short time frame to make an impact before your customer is distracted with the next message trying to get their attention. In fact, it is now reported that people have a shorter attention span than goldfish, with the average attention span dropping from 12 to 8 seconds (so well done if you made it this far down the page!)

So again, seek a third party, whether a family member, friend, fellow business owner or consultant. Make sure the message they get is the message you want them to have.

Of course, there is so much more to an effectively advertising or marketing campaign than my thoughts above. But, oftentimes it is when you see something done not-quite-right that you can get the inspiration you need to make your marketing what you need it to be.

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