3 marketing lessons I wish I’d known sooner

‘’A smart man learns from his mistakes; A wise man learns from the mistakes of others’’

After racking my brain for a while and remembering the countless mistakes and lessons I’ve learned the hard way, I thought I’d put together the 3 lessons that have served me the best in marketing.

I hope these will help you as much as they helped me!

1. Good copy beats fancy design every time

When it comes to advertising, it’s easy to get caught up in making things look flashy and exciting, when the cold hard truth is, the words you write (the copy) is what makes the real difference.

A clear and simple message is the key.

If you have a complicated or confusing message you don’t stand a chance.

Here is my favourite example:

When mp3 players were first coming on to the market, everyone was trying to get a piece of the action. Flashy adverts talking about megabytes and gigabytes were everywhere. There was talk about data compression and audio quality files.

Then Apple came in and stole the show with the following advert:

A simple image and 6 words printed in black on a white background. That’s it.

This simple message made it clear exactly why you would want an iPod.

So, whenever you are doing anything marketing related, don’t focus on the bells and whistles. Focus on making the message as clear and as compelling as possible.

2. Testing is key

The second lesson I wish I’d learned sooner is all about testing.

Try as you might, you simply can’t predict what the market will react to best.

So always test as much as you can.

For example, when I create a Facebook ad campaign. I don’t just start with one advert.

I’ll design 6 images and 6 headlines.

I then test each of the 6 images with the same headline for a few days.

This test reveals which image performs the best.

I’ll then take that image and test it with each of the 6 headlines.

This then shows me the best performing headline.

So, overall, I have tested 12 variations of advert to find 1 high performing version.

This may seem a bit of an ordeal, but that 1 high performing advert will often perform 10x better than the worst performing ad. This often means thousands of pounds in sales.

3. Know your audience and speak directly to them

The best marketing speaks directly to your ideal customer. The best compliment you can receive about your marketing is when someone says:

‘It felt like you were writing it just for me’

This is what you should be aiming for.

To do this, you need to understand who your ideal customer is, and what problems you can solve for them.

Here is a quick example. Say you are doing a short advert for your exterior painting services.

Advert number 1:

We offer all types of exterior painting, from masonry to window frames. We’re fully qualified and experienced. Call us now for a free quote’

Advert number 2:

Does the exterior of your home look a little tired and dirty? Have you been putting off getting it painted for too long?

Our exterior painting team can transform and protect your home, on time and on budget.

Get in touch with us today and arrange a free estimate. It only takes 15 minutes.

Do you see how the first advert is just ‘broadcasting’ information? It’s not really talking to anyone specifically.

Whereas the second advert speaks directly to the potential client. As someone reads it, they should be thinking, ‘yes, my home does look a bit tired…yes, I have been putting off sorting it!’

When the right person reads it, they will think it’s been written specifically for them. As it addresses their exact problems.

Writing like this is the best way to get the attention (and the business) of your potential clients.

Do you struggle to find time for your marketing?

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