Don’t Sell the Industry – Sell YOURSELF!

Marketing is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts. Sometimes, we wish we could just be blunt with the business owners we are trying to help and tell them the cold, hard truth without sounding like rude, demeaning, know-it-alls. So, in an effort to enlighten and not frighten, we give you our new blog series “You’ve Been Schooled!”. We hope it will help business owners understand marketing a little better and make better decisions with their marketing dollars. Today’s topic is ad messaging and our expert is Kelsey Huber.

If I could vent about (ahem…educate) business owners on messaging in their ads, I would tell them this: 

Don’t sell the industry – sell YOURSELF!

“One of the most common mistakes I see business owners make when it comes to their marketing message is that they sell their industry instead of themselves. This is easier to explain with an example. 

Let’s say you’re a doctor who provides LASIK procedures. You may think it’s a great idea to tell people to ‘Throw away your glasses and get LASIK surgery with us!’ That is, after all, what you sell. However, there are two problems with this approach:

#1 – You aren’t providing them with any new information. You offer LASIK surgery, so because it’s not a new service, practically everyone knows that the result of LASIK is improving your vision so you don’t have to wear glasses or contact lenses. What are you telling them that they don’t already know?

#2 – You have not differentiated yourself. Why would they choose you over anyone else who provides LASIK? Have you given them a reason? No.

You have to be careful. You are not the only provider of your product/service. If you were, this messaging would be fine. But you must find a way to offer a benefit your competition doesn’t offer. It could be a lower price, expertise (doctors with the most surgeries), a reputation of excellence (the best doctors, latest technology, safety standards) – as long as it’s something your target finds value in that your competition isn’t already saying. It’s not always easy to find your differentiator, but it is always worth the time and effort. 

Your job is not to convince them that they need LASIK…it’s to convince them to choose you for their LASIK procedure. The difference is subtle, but critical. In one case, you sell the benefits of LASIK. In the other, you sell the benefits of LASIK through your company. Which would you rather pay for?”

Kelsey Huber – Director of Content Strategy

And there you have it. You can either sell your industry or sell yourself. Take a look at your advertising messaging with a critical eye and see which one you’ve been doing. 

We hope this helps you in your quest to grow your business. If you need help finding your differentiator or honing your marketing message, contact Lure Creative and we will be happy to share our insight and expertise (but not in a bossy, condescending way) to help your business Get Found and Be Known.