There is a classic marketing acronym – AIDA. It stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Think of it this way.

  • You grab attention by being unique
  • Create interest by highlighting the customer’s problem
  • Generate desire by giving a solution to that problem
  • And then provide a process for the customer to take action

To be unique, you have to open your mind to new ideas. For example, you could analyse the marketing communications created by your competitors, and then do something different e.g. Compare the Market do it with a meerkat, and took a tip from Top Gear and raced a sofa round Brands Hatch.

If you find this difficult, how about hosting a brainstorm meeting with a few creatively-minded colleagues? Or spending some quality time just sitting quietly with a pen and paper? Or drawing a mind-map to capture everything you can think of, no matter how ridiculous?

To make your marketing appeal to customers, you have to know who they are and understand where they are coming from. You need to be familiar with your demographics (no-one ever sells to ‘everyone’), and know what problem they are experiencing, or what goal they want to achieve. Then you need to explain how your product or service helps them get there.

Finally, you’d be amazed how many marketing pieces I’ve seen that have no call to action. Unless it’s solely for brand recognition purposes, it’s a complete waste of money! You need to decide your primary objective for doing that marketing activity in the first place. Do you want people to pick up the phone and call you? To send an email? To visit the website? Something else?

Whatever it is, you need to ask them to do it (in print, the bottom right hand corner is a good place for the call-to-action, as it’s where the eye lingers last before leaving the page).

If you’ve found this useful, I’m inviting you to comment and/or share this link on Twitter, Facebook and with all your contacts. Thank you!

This blog post is the 6th in a series of marketing tips for small businesses and start-ups.

Topics Jackie has already covered:

  • Names that ‘do what they say on the tin’
  • Logos that ‘tell the story at a glance’
  • Slogans that prompt the response ‘Ooh, that’s useful’
  • Compelling headlines to make you read on
  • Why you should turn your layouts upside-down

Watch this space for future topics, including:

  • Content that answers ‘What’s In It For Me?’
  • Taking a lesson from the newspapers
  • Z-pattern and F-pattern eyeflow
  • Turning features into benefits
  • Finding your USP
  • How to make your exhibition stand outstanding

You’ll find all these tips and more in Jackie’s book, The Little Fish Guide to DIY Marketing (it reached #9 in its category on Amazon within 48 hours of launch).

This article was originally published on Birds on the Blog in 2010

Categories: Guest post

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