That is the caption for my next tee shirt. Yes, I like tee shirt marketing. It’s fun. People like tee shirts. It’s a challenge to capture a meaningful message in a few words that grabs people’s imagination and stimulates their interest. The investment is low, can be less than $300 for 50 shirts. If you have a creative message your audience will wear them and create brand awareness for you for free. It’s not your audience, you say…don’t be so sure. Everybody likes creative messages and almost everybody wears tee shirts at home and in public. Put your message on a tee shirt and spread the word for years to come. Try it. It’s a start for doing some outrageous marketing where the returns are really effective. Sometimes a brand developer wants to be a guerilla marketer.
What do I mean by ‘advertise…duh’
Simple, if you want to sell something—advertise. Even bad advertising works. There are a tremendous number of examples of bad advertising, but my favorite bad advertising is the advertising done for personal injury lawyers and auto dealers. Bad as it is, the advertising is convincing and it works! I know it works because personal injury advertising increases every season and the lawyers are paying top dollar for the time. And car dealers spend more on advertising than anyone. (Makes you wonder what they could do if they did good advertising created by a brand image-maker.) Are you advertising your services (radio, TV, print, website, social media, inbound marketing)? If you are not advertising, how do people know you exist? And what does that say about your commitment?
To make your advertising effective you have to differentiate your product
Do you know what makes your product special in the eyes of the consumer? Have you talked with your customers? What is special or unique about your service? Can your competitor make the same offer? Everyone claims to give good service, deliver quality, be on time, and they have family depending on them. That is not unique and is not a differentiator. Find your differentiation and then state it in a
memorable way so that your audience understands what is in it for them…Mercedes—the best or nothing. Morton Salt—when it rains, it pours.
Advertising without a marketing plan is worse than not advertising at all
Do you have a plan for your marketing? Does this plan detail who your best customers are likely to be and where they are located? Have you developed their persona: do you know their lifestyle, their fears and their aspirations, their goals and their desires? Do you know what your audience reads, watches, and listens to and does for fun? You’re not trying to make your offer applicable to everyone are you? Because you can’t.
Develop your personas
Define your audience (segmented by your personas). Develop a unique offer that will appeal to them. Create a message that will communicate your uniqueness and is meaningful to your personas. Do not worry about anyone who is not in your target audience.
My favorite quote and soon to be on tee shirts everywhere, is a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and it annoys the pig.” I know this to be true because I have annoyed a lot of pigs. Narrow your focus because you can’t please everyone. Narrow your focus because that is really what marketing is all about—creating a product or service that is made for a select group of people who will appreciate it and pay you what it is worth.
Bad advertising works, good advertising works even better.
About Ken Gasque
Ken Gasque is a brand image-maker, marketing planner and designer. Ken works with small companies and Fortune 500 companies who recognize the need to differentiate their products and services to stand out in a cluttered market. Ken is a highly visual, outside-the-box-thinker on advertising, branding and marketing—his work reflects his belief that “We buy with our eyes.” Ken writes and lectures on brands, design, images and brand development.