So… what DO they really care about? The short answer is themselves. For elaboration on this blunt, over-simplified assertion, please read further:
A lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking they need to utilize the bulk of their ad time to brag about themselves. “We’re family owned!”, “We’ve been in business since 1982!” and “We’re the only business of our type with 12 certifications!” are among the most over-used and underwhelming points occupying a company’s radio air time that could be better spent on more relevant information. Too many businesses mistakenly believe their prospective customers are influenced by these and similar self-aggrandizing tidbits. This is not to say that nobody cares, or that these facts don’t contribute on any level to their decision to do business with you – just that most customers don’t need what you sell the moment they’re hearing your ad and will most likely not remember these points when they finally do need what you sell.
Statements like these are not very effective because A) we hear them over and over again, B) we don’t necessarily believe them and/or C) ultimately, it’s not really going to impact our lives in any meaningful way. We hear “family owned” ad nausea (but what if your family is a bunch of jerks?). We don’t necessarily believe or care if you say “we’re honest” or “we don’t just treat you like a number” (okay… we’ll believe it when we see it… if we get around to needing you, that is). You can tell us that “we’re local and involved in your community”, but if there’s a better product or service out there, you’re probably not going to get the sympathy vote just because you have a booth at the festival every year.
These are all things that your absolute core fans might love about you, but the goal here is to reach out to prospective customers beyond the reach of your core fans’ word of mouth. So, what will the customer care about and remember? Customers, just like you, me and everyone else, would rather talk (or hear) about themselves. A business that sells mattresses shouldn’t base an ad on how long they’ve been in business. They should focus primarily on the great night’s sleep, the improved energy and mental sharpness the listener is going to experience – because that’s what the listener cares about, that’s what they’ll remember, and that’s why they’re going to buy the mattress.
People are emotional buyers. We seek out products and services based on how we believe they will improve our lives and make us feel. We don’t buy the expensive shoes because the company was founded at the turn of the century. We buy the shoes because we want our feet to stop hurting, or because we want to impress our friends. We don’t buy the insurance policy because the company is local and family-owned; we buy the policy because we want to avoid the pain of leaving our loved ones without a safety net.
So why do your customers want what you sell? The correct answer will be personal, emotional and relatable. Once you identify it, that needs to be the main focus of your ads.
The Bottom Line
There’s a reason why businesses who advertise with Zimmer Communications enjoy accelerated growth: we’ve learned how to identify what their prospective customers really care about. When you’re ready to advertise your business or service… you know who to call!