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By Wayan Vota on October 21, 2009

1. Find the inherent drama within your offering.
After all, you plan to make money by selling a product or a service or both. The reasons people will want to buy from you should give you a clue as to the inherent drama in your product or service. Something about your offering must be inherently interesting or you wouldn’t be putting it up for sale.
2. Translate that inherent drama into a meaningful benefit.
Always remember that people buy benefits, not features. People do not buy shampoo; people buy great-looking or clean or manageable hair. People do not buy cars; people buy speed, status, style, economy, performance, and power. Mothers of young kids do not buy cereal; they buy nutrition, though many buy anything at all they can get their kids to eat — anything. So find the major benefit of your offering and write it down. It should come directly from the inherently dramatic feature. And even though you have four or five benefits, stick with one or two—three at most.

3. State your benefits as believably as possible.
There is a world of difference between honesty and believability. You can be 100 percent honest (as you should be) and people still may not believe you. You must go beyond honesty, beyond the barrier that advertising has erected by its tendency toward exaggeration, and state your benefit in such a way that it will be accepted beyond doubt.

4. Get people’s attention.
People do not pay attention to advertising. They pay attention only to things that interest them. And sometimes they find those things in advertising. So you’ve just got to interest them. And while you’re at it, be sure you interest them in your product or service, not just your advertising. I’m sure you’re familiar with advertising that you remember for a product you do not remember. Many advertisers are guilty of creating advertising that’s more interesting than whatever it is they are advertising. But you can prevent yourself from falling into that trap by memorizing this line: Forget the ad, is the product or service interesting.

5. Motivate your audience to do something.
Tell them to visit the store. Tell them to make a phone call, fill in a coupon, write for more information, ask for your product by name, take a test drive, or come in for a free demonstration. Don’t stop short. To make guerrilla marketing work, you must tell people exactly what you want them to do.
6. Be sure you are communicating clearly.
You may know what you’re talking about, but do your readers or listeners? Recognize that people aren’t really thinking about your business and that they’ll only give about half their attention to your ad— even when they are paying attention. Knock yourself out to make sure you are putting your message across.

7. Measure your finished advertisement, commercial, letter, or brochure against your creative strategy.
The strategy is your blueprint. If your ad fails to fulfill the strategy, it’s a lousy ad, no matter how much you love it. Scrap it and start again. All along, you should be using your creative strategy to guide you, to give you hints as to the content of your ad. If you don’t, you may end up being creative in a vacuum. And that’s not being creative at all. If your ad is in line with your strategy, you may then judge its other elements.

Filed Under: Marketing
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Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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