Marketing Smarts

Let’s  start with KFC. The company is only following 11 people on Twitter. Check this out. KFC is made with 11 herbs and spices so they are only following 11 people – 5 of the Spice Girls and 6guys named Herb. Brilliant.


It was a compelling idea, even if the client wasn’t convinced at the time.

Fifty years ago, in the fictional world of Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a daring ad campaign to Heinz execs, for the brand’s ketchup, that proposed not showing the product at all. Instead, the ads would show close-ups of foods that go great with ketchup—french fries, a cheeseburger, a slice of steak—but without any ketchup in sight.

Don’s proposed tagline: “Pass the Heinz.” And now Heinz has decided to run the ads.


Why would someone in the advertising business make this statement. Because unfortunately it is true. There are several reasons why advertising doesn’t work. First, reach and frequency. Of the two, frequency trumps reach. In other words, I would rather advertise more prominently with a smaller media than less prominently with a larger one. You also have to have patience as advertising does not work instantly. You cant go to the gym and have a six pack in a week. Targetabilityis important – using the right media to reach the right people. Obvious. But the most important element in the success of advertising is the creative message.

Here are my simple suggestions  . . .

  • You can’t be all things to all people so select a target group and appeal directly to them
  • Don’t use cliches – consumers don’t care if you have been in business for 47 years
  • Do not create a laundry list of products and services – pick one key thing and make it the central focus of your ad
  • Grab attention in the first seven seconds
  • Always have a call to action
  • Tell them what you want them to do – pick up the phone, visit a website or drop in
  • Be straightforward – don’t try to be funny because it usually fails
  • Use the educational approach to advertising which will position your company head and shoulders above the competition
  • And of course . . .


At the end of the day, you must track your advertising in order to determine which media are working and which are not. The famous quote from John Wannamaker is absolutely true.


If you are interested in learning more about effective advertising, or if you have a product or service to market, or even if you want an audit on your current marketing efforts, just reach out to me at 514 214 0234. No matter the size of your business, the media options range from facebook ads to SEO and Google to radio, print, direct mail, and billboards.



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