Kamron Karington is a marketing specialist and former owner of two pizzerias. He is the author of "The Black Book: Your Guide to Creating Staggering Profits In Your Pizza Business."
In less than three minutes you're going to discover exactly what advertising is, and how to harness it's power. But more importantly, you'll know what advertising is not.
Advertising is not:
* being cute, funny, or clowning around
* keeping one's name before the public
* claiming to have "the best pizza in town"
People don't buy from clowns or comedians, nor do they buy because your name is on a billboard. They don't buy because you claim, "yours is the best." After all, doesn't everyone make that claim?
So, do you know what advertising is? I mean, do you really know? Some of the biggest advertising agencies in the world have no clue. So it's not surprising to me that most of the money spent on advertising is, in my opinion, completely wasted.
In the early 1900s, advertising agencies believed that good advertising was
"Keeping One's Name Before the Public."
But, at 6 o'clock on a May evening in 1905, a note was brought to Mr. Thomas of the Lord & Thomas Advertising Agency. It read:
"I am downstairs. I know what advertising is. I know you don't know. If you wish to know what advertising is, tell this messenger that I should come up."
Signed -- John E. Kennedy.
The word "yes" was sent down, and advertising was changed forever.
For many years, John E. Kennedy had puzzled over these questions: Advertising -- What was it? How did it work? Why did great products fail and others succeed?
On that evening, he had the answer that changed the advertising world forever.
"Advertising is -- salesmanship in print."
So, in the same year that Einstein discovered the secrets of the universe, John Kennedy discovered the real secret of successful advertising. And, in a time when copywriters were earning $15 per week, Kennedy commanded $28,000 per year!
So, what is salesmanship in print? The following two scenarios provide a good illustration.
A customer walks into your store and asks you what kind of pizza you have. You run to the back, grab one out of the oven, rush back, hold it out in front of him and stand there with a smile on your face. You might even recite some slogan such as, "You've tried the rest - now try the best."
In another scenario, a customer walks into your store and asks you what kind of pizza you have. And you say, "Well, we have the best selling gourmet pizza in the neighborhood. We were voted 'Best Pizza' by the City Weekly. Our meats are fresh, we use whole-milk mozzarella, and I personally hand pick and slice every vegetable we use. I'm so confident that you'll love our pizza that I guarantee each one to taste great -- or your money back. And, today I'm running a special on our two most popular pizzas. As a matter of fact, I've got one coming out of the oven right now -- would you like to see it?"
Which pizza would you buy?
Our first example is what's called "image advertising," or "keeping your name before the public."
The second example is a clear example of salesmanship.
Salesmanship in print is nothing more than taking your best sales pitch and converting it to print, (radio, or TV).
Ads are not a reminder. They are not a gentle nudge. Ads are salesmen, and they are there to get a sale!
No salesman in his right mind would go to a prospect, blurt out some slogan and then just stand there with a goofy grin on his face. Or worse yet -- start singing.
Real advertising, true salesmanship on paper, on the other hand, accomplishes two purposes: to tell your story and sell your product!
And, you do have a wonderful story to tell.
Would this convince anyone that you make the best sauce in town?
"Sauce made fresh daily"
Hardly. But this would:
"The tomatoes we use in our sauce are grown in the lush San Joaquin valley in Northern California. And, since tomatoes love sunshine -- they get plenty of it. The growing season lasts about 77 days. Only the finest, juiciest tomatoes make it into our sauce.
"Once we've blended the tomatoes into a rich sauce, we add 13 different seasonings, over two pounds in all.
"We cook it over a slow fire, stirring every six minutes -- for one full hour. And, I'll tell you, when it's done, the aroma will make your eyes roll up. My mouth waters up just thinking about it!
"Anyway, I promise you, this sauce is loaded with flavor! Not just sugar and tomato paste like the others use."
That's salesmanship in print employing lots of specifics to make it believable:
* 77 days
* 13 seasonings
* Two pounds
* Slow fire
* Six minutes
* One hour
And don't miss this key sentence, "this sauce is loaded with flavor." That says great taste, without wasting your breath and words saying "the best sauce in town."
So, again, a "believable" story wins out over "me too" bragging.
Advertising should pay for itself
What does all this mean to you and your operation?
It should equate to profits.
For example, if you have a net profit of $100 on an ad that gets a 2 percent response, your net profit will skyrocket to $898 with a 4 percent response. And $2,497 with a 6 percent response.
If you're going to advertise, make it count. Don't just slap your name on a flyer with two coupons and wait for the phone to ring. Tell your story. Sell your pizza!
Other articles by Kamron Karington: