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8 Puzzle Pieces to Successful Advertising

Aren’t you tired of the money you spend on advertising going out the window and never seeing it return with sales? What are the pieces that solve this advertising puzzle? Well, there are 8 puzzle pieces that make a great advertisement, let’s take a look.

Audience – Who are you selling to? What problems do they have that you can solve? Sit down and write out 10 characteristics of your “perfect customer”. Write down their age, gender, profession, income, method of travel, hobbies, etc. In essence draw a mental picture of who you are speaking to. Remember, “everyone” is not a target market.

Solution – What solutions do you offer to this “perfect customer”? Look at the list you just made, and write down 3 to 5 needs or problems that you can solve for them. Rank them in order of biggest need to smallest. Decide which of these needs you want to focus on for this ad. It might be the one need you serve the best, or one that you want to serve more. Solve one problem for one customer in one ad.

Message – You know who your perfect customer is, you know what problems they have that you serve best, now craft a message that speaks directly to that narrow niche. Your message should identify the audience and the need as well as provide the solution. Once you have this message polished, repeat it every time you advertise this solution. Create 10 ways to say the same message and use them over and over.

Headline – Your headline is the stop sign in the brain of your perfect customer. Write a headline that will get their attention and support your message. It needs to grab their attention and make them want to read more. Rewrite it until you get it under 7 words. The fewer words you use the better, but make sure you keep supporting your message.

Image – More and more we are becoming a visual society, so the image you pick for this ad needs to be a good one. I understand a tight budget, but there are plenty of online stock photo sites that you can get high quality photos for around $10. The impact a good photo makes is well worth the investment. Again make sure it supports your message and relates to your perfect customer.

Sub-Head – The sub-head is like a secondary headline, it explains the headline more and entices the reader to read further. You can use it to answer the question in the headline, but be sure the sub-head gives a bit more information and points the reader to the copy.

Copy – This is it. Now is the time for that message to come through. You stopped them with a great headline, they relate to the image you picked, they are ready for your message. Write the copy of the ad so that it speaks directly to the need of the perfect customer. They really don’t care about who you are, or your history in the industry. They care about solving their problem, meeting their own needs.

Call to Action – The whole point of you spending time and money on this advertisement is to get your perfect customer to take some sort of action. Hopefully this action includes them paying you for a solution to their problem. The action you call them to can be anything, visit a website, look for your product in the store, request more information or to contacted. Without a Call to Action your advertising is wasted. You can have all the other pieces to this puzzle and forget the Call to Action and your ad will not succeed.

It isn’t required to use every puzzle piece to have a successful ad, but you must use the corner pieces. You must know your perfect customer, give them a solution to their problem, have a message that speaks to them, and you must give them some action to take. If you follow these guidelines your advertising dollars will come back to you with friends.

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Mark Combs,
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