By Ken Hammock, The Joy FM

It’s more than getting attention. Advertising  is about building a connection between what your offer and the people who potentially need or want it. There must be a connection.

Today’s media, regardless of the source, are inundated with automobile ads. You might be in the market for a new car or truck. But does 30-seconds of advertising help you decide? Does the intrusion of the same advertising spot over and over and over help in your decision to visit the dealer?

When I was in the car sales industry, each time a new buyer walked into the dealership we needed to  discover which of the four attributes of a vehicle was most important to that customer?

1. Performance – Did the vehicle provide the performance the customer wanted or expected.

2. Safety – What features made the vehicle safe? Who’s safety is the buyer concerned about? His daughter heading to college? His wife and three children? Her own safety for driving within a major metro area?

3. Price or payment – Can the buyers feel the “win” in getting a great price? Is the monthly payment the lowest it can be? Can you meet their payment goal, or at the least, come close?

4. Styling and aesthetics –Is the customer trying to make a fashion statement, do they love the styling of the vehicle, and will they “feel good” about driving the vehicle? Whether a business woman looking for a luxury model or a southern good ol’ boy needing a 4-wheel drive mudhole jumper, what are they looking for and can you meet their need?

Notice that advertising for attention drives none of these. What works is a campaign to address specific attributes for each specific buyer. This also requires the advertiser to select media channels which best target the prospective type of buyer.

Focused content is imperative. Including something that fits every type of buyer dilutes the intended impact and thus the ROI. A buyer looking for styling may also be interested in the performance, and a person interested in a low monthly payment may also want safety.

But, in the end one might overrule another. You need to know your buyer and what attribute/feature is MOST important to her or him.

How many types of customers do you have in your industry? Is your marketing and advertising message targeted through the right media asset with the most engaging or relevant message? Are you diluting your impact with cliché driven content or are you actually creating a conversation with your message? Are you engaging or repelling? Has your message been heard so often it becomes background noise or redundant? Are you part of the clutter, or do you truly offer a solution? And, is that point getting through? All these questions are imperative to successful engagement and business growth.

Let me know if I can help.

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(Ken Hammock is a 30-year marketing veteran and is the Corporate Engagement Specialist for The JOY FM. You can reach him via email at ken@theJoyFM.com)