What is a brand and the AIDA model of advertising according to Dale Carnegie – Interest

Interest is one of the most challenging stages of the AIDA model.: You’ve captured the attention of your target audience, but you now need them to understand your message beyond the initial headline or sound bite.

Gaining the audience interest is more challenging than grabbing their attention and the message must stay focused on the needs of the audience.

“Six ways to make people like you”, part two of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”  provides a great recipe for generating interest, after all it’s much easier to interest someone when they like you, your company or your message:

1.   Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

2.   Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

3.   Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

4.   Become genuinely interested in other people.

5.   Smile

6.   Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

The right marketing tool before you start communicating: A Marketing Action Plan

The right marketing tool before you start communicating: A Marketing Action Plan

To reach your customers and prospects with your message most cost effectively and improve your Cost Per Lead, you will need the best marketing tool; a plan. Your Marketing Action Plan should include the following:

  1. Align each target audience with the Appropriate Offer and hence Communication Objective
  2. Plan each of the target market communications throughout the calendar year.
  3. Prepare a realistic marketing activity schedule based on the your budget.
  4. Specify the parties responsible for execution of each initiative.
  5. Record all of the necessary chronological steps to implement the communication strategies.

The Marketing Activity Schedule usually consists of an excel spreadsheet that outlines each activity, when it occurs and how much it costs to implement. Here is a hypothetical example of what one may look like with costs being omitted.

On the Marketing Activity Schedule you can also mark any important events on your marketing calendar, like trade shows, or product launches, etc.

The one page overview will provide all staff in the company with a great overview of all marketing activities, costs and timings. Together with the Marketing Action Plan, everyone will be on the same page in terms of objectives and responsibilities.

How to develop a Creative Theme for more effective marketing

To develop an effective creative theme you need to be different from what is prevalent in your industry segment. One way of doing this is staying away from standard photography stock photos. Not only will this not provide your business with the necessary point of difference but will play into the hands of the category leader, who is most likely already using the “typical” stock shots.

Here are some examples of effectively used creative themes:

A Gambling theme was used for a management consulting member organisation to communicate with both prospective members and encourage membership and potential clients, with the main messages being:

  • don’t gamble with your career / business
  • get the unfair advantage

A Cartoon theme for an accounting practice and a different cartoon theme for a management consulting firm were used to differentiate these companies from their competition by poking fun at the whole industry rather use traditional and boring “corporate” photos of “smiling people in the office”.

A visual Illusion theme for a marketing consultancy was used to deliver the message that things aren’t always what they seem and that Perception is Reality!

A theme of the world’s most famous Man-Made Landmarks was developed for a translation company to differentiate them and make their offer more memorable than their competitors.

A Car theme was designed for a web marketing company that was at the time an early developer of an easy to use web Content Management System:

  • the brochure looked like a car brochure with all of the “driving analogies” being used to appeal to the mainly middle aged male business audience
  • direct mail campaign using a “test drive” invitation, with keys and one pair of a glove, etc
  • a user manual that resembled closely a car manual
  • a license for clients completing the training course

A Medical theme was developed for an I.T. company. Most I.T. companies can’t get beyond the now “typical” I.T. Health Check. This I.T. company was able to develop a campaignable and timeless theme which was intrinsically linked to its Positioning Statement / slogan which was “taking care of I.T.”

  • Mints in a medicine bottle could be used as promotional items for “pain relief” 
  • Different levels of I.T. Support were marketed like health insurance
  • Invoices could be made to look like medical scripts
  • Client files and proposals could be made to look like medical patient histories.
  • Staff could dress up as doctors

Wild West theme was used by a design firm, with all the shoot outs, outlaws, sheriff and wanted posters to create a fun approach to selling this firm’s point of difference.

As you can see the creative theme for your business is only limited by your imagination. From police or detectives, to aliens and UFO’s, from tailoring to sailing, from army to mythology, the critical things to remember are:

  1. Making sure that your creative theme is clearly communicating and reinforcing either your brand name or your positioning statement
  2. That your creative theme is immediately comprehensible and doesn’t take too long for the prospective target audience to “get it”, otherwise you are just confusing them rather than helping them remember you and what makes you special
  3. Your creative theme is different to the themes being used in your industry segment
  4. Your creative theme provides you with a never ending well of ideas.

Why having a Creative Strategy is critical to your business?

The creative strategy is the translation of the brand objectives and attributes, into communication that will:

Having a strong creative strategy is more important for the SME which doesn’t have the corporate budget to drum in the message using the sheer weight of media dollars. An SME is also in a better position to develop a strong creative strategy:

  • Unlike a big corporate organisation, an SME does not have to deal with layers of management and political games.
  • In most cases there is no brand baggage.

Creative strategy is rarely used by businesses outside the large and well established Consumer Goods and Services; from FMCG to Banking, Retail, Telecommunications, Cars, etc.  B2B and Professional Services companies, and in fact most SME’s can benefit from having a Creative Strategy.

The creative strategy requires a CREATIVE THEME:
  • Provides consistency which is crucial in building memorability and trust with the target audience
  • Ideally, the theme is will be derived from or generate synergy with the brand name or the positioning statement.
  • Allows for development of more ‘creative’ communication, which also makes it more memorable. Creative themes achieve this by developing synergy between words and graphics and thus become more memorable.This means that you do not have to expose your target audience to your message as many times as you would otherwise with ‘average’ or less interesting communication, which means you can spend less money communicating with your prospects to turn them into customers.
  • Well communicated THEMES deliver greater marketing ROI because they go beyond features and benefits in the mind of the prospect and engage them emotionally as well as logically.

The more creative the communication, the more memorable and comprehensible it is. Which means that you do not have to expose your target audience to your message as many times as you would otherwise with ‘average communication’.

A consistent THEME that uses the name of the brand or its positioning or ultimately both will always yield better results in achieving the above objectives.


The Power of the Brand Positioning Statement

According to a study by research company Millward Brown, slogan or brand positioning statement usage in advertising has been declining over the last 20 years.

The study found that slogans make a difference in advertisements, and generate more interest from the target audience. The Knowledge Point study, found that two-thirds of all ads actually included slogans.

Ads with slogans that part are of a jingle received higher enjoyment while slogans that have been used before also enjoyed better branding, confirming the importance of consistency and repetition.

The study provided the following advice to marketers and their brands:

  • Positioning Statements that are most likely to be remembered are included in a jingle.
  • Positioning Statements should be relevant and meaningful to the brand, its benefits or its history
  • Positioning Statements used to make sense of the whole communication are memorable because they bring about a resolution to the “question” being asked
  • Positioning Statements slogans that use rhyme or alliteration to associate with the brand are more easily remembered
  • Positioning Statements that evoke memorable images or stimulate thinking have more staying power
  • Distinct Positioning Statements, whether they contains an unusual word or are used in an unfamiliar context, were also found to be effective.