Tell More Sell More– A Great Marketing Strategy by Alan Tarr
On an out-of-town trip recently, I finished my speaking engagement for the day, and it was creeping up on dinnertime.
In my hotel room there was a plastic stand with postcard ads from nearby restaurants, clubs, and attractions. I picked out a few and started to read. One card said “Luzon Restaurant – The Best Filipino Food This Side Of Manila” with a nice picture and a walking map.
Now, I like Filipino food, but I didn’t go there.
Why "Luzon" Did Not Make The Sale
The purpose of marketing is to educate, inform, and motivate; which of these things did the Luzon ad not do?
The answer is – all of them. The Luzon Restaurant (name was changed to protect the clueless) came up empty.
- It did not educate. What is Filipino food? How is prepared? Is Filipino food spicy?
- It did not inform. Who are the owners? Where are they from? What is their online rating? What are their special dishes? What kind of prices are we looking at?
- And without a) and b), how could they possibly motivate me to go there? Not even one picture of the food.
For the restaurant, therefor, this was a Class A waste of money.
The Take-Away From This Tale Is, “Tell More, Sell More”
Dr Charles Edwards is widely credited with the quote, “The more facts you tell, the more you sell.”
Now, before all you millennials and youngers, jump down my throat with stories of internet gurus who tell you to keep it extremely short, give me a chance to expand on the title. Okay?
- I stand by the title completely; it is right – but so are the internet gurus.
- With internet ads, the job of the ad is to get the reader curious enough to click on your call-to-action (CTA) link.
- Once the reader has made the initial click, then it’s time to heed Dr Edwards’ advice.
- The “Tell More, Sell More” doctrine works with all these major advertising and marketing methods and more. Websites, Landing Pages, Catalogs, Print Ads, Inserts (like Supermarket weekly ads), TV, Radio, Brochures, Flyers, etc.
- The doctrine doesn’t work well with Billboards, Skywriting, Small sidewalk signs, and Blimps.
- The doctrine also doesn’t work for inexpensive impulse items such as candy bars, or totally emotional buys like perfume.
For most everything else, I urge you to keep the title of this piece in mind.
Why “Tell More, Sell More” Works
When “real” money’s involved, a survey showed that 91% stated they wanted information to determine if the product or service was something they wanted, needed, or desired.
Buyers want to know as much as possible about the item. Not all items, or services, are similarly positioned, but there’s always something to find out. Let’s look at three everyday examples.
- Breakfast Cereal. You may want to know the ingredients, sugar content, net weight (so you can figure out cost per ounce), sell-by date, etc.
- T-Shirts. Material, where it was made, size, colorfastness, if it’s shrink-proof, price, color selections, and return policies.
- Refrigerator. Outside dimensions, layout of shelves, add-ons like an ice maker or through the door water and ice delivery system, ratings and reviews, low-price guarantee, delivery date, financing, guarantees and warranties.
If you have questions, the seller or manufacturer needs to provide answers; that’s called marketing.
Case Study: Huusk Knives
I saw an internet ad for Huusk Knives of Japan.
Their message was very good and succinct. Sharpest Knives In Your Kitchen - Well-balanced and substantial. They backed the message up with a short video showing the knife in action and telling why the shape and weight was vital to performance and why the blade was so sharp.
Given all that, I ordered two knives and the sharpening whetstone they recommended…about $82.
Great Product But Needed To Tell More
Here’s a case where the selling message was great, but the follow up was disappointing.
Upon opening the package, I saw three very substantial, high-end and attractive boxes. The whetstone was presented in a wooden base. Very well done. But there’s where the company stopped. There were no care and use instructions for the knives (dishwasher safe?) nor were there instructions on how to use the sharpening whetstone (I’d never used one before) included in the package. So, I went to their website and – same “no information”.
For me, a marketing/copywriting fanatic, this was a very disappointing end to what should have been a 5-star review.
Small Businesses Need “Tell More, Sell More”, Too
Small or “Bedrock” businesses, need to educate, inform and motivate – maybe more than their big cousins.
Our local Bedrock businesses don’t have anywhere near the marketing budget their larger relatives do, so they must rely more on, and talk more about, experiential factors like:
- Customer service
- Community involvement
- Ease of buying or returning
- Personal contact – friendliness, trustworthiness
On most of these determinants, Bedrock biz does better than mega biz.
Great Marketing Strategy
Tell More, Sell More is a big arrow in your marketing strategy quiver in most circumstances – don’t neglect it.
Use your website as the prime Tell More tool.
- Write answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Use time and space on the “above the fold” section of your home page to answer three basic questions:
- WHO are you and what do you do?
- WHAT benefits does the buyer get when purchasing?
- WHY should I buy from you rather than your competitors?
- Make sure you give the customer information needed to make an informed decision – but do so in as few, easy-to-read words, as possible.
Plus, when you describe a product or service, be benefit-oriented. Nothing turns a prospect – or customer – off more than a business website that talks primarily about how great they are.
Dig Deeper Into The Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters
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