Specificity in Advertising
When to use psychographic appeals in advertising at scale.
Hey! - it's Brian 🦄.
Happy Saturday to 3,446 marketers and entrepreneurs reading today.
Today you'll learn the following billion-dollar concepts:
- How to position your product or service from different angles
- How to balance specifics with universal appeal in your advertising
- When to use psychographics vs the common denominator approach
- How ad targeting shapes ad appeal decisions
Estimated reading time = 4 minutes
How to Design Better Ads that Scale
Weight loss is a $3.8 billion industry in the US alone.
Suppose you’re launching a new weight loss company and it’s time to fire up some ads.
Your first thought will probably be "Lose Weight".
49% of Americans try to lose weight over the course of a single year, so an ad with this appeal is probably going to get some eyeballs and interest.
But the ad is vague about the WHAT and says nothing about HOW or WHY.
Let's add a little WHAT and HOW:
Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Weeks Without Exercise or Your Money Back
Now we have some specificity.
That sounds credible, as if it's a measured result of a product's effectiveness.
But it still lacks a WHY.
There are 2.06 BILLION Google results for "Why do people want to lose weight?"
Let's take 5 potential reasons WHY:
- Improve your self esteem
- Have better sex
- Reduce sleep apnea
- Fit into your old clothes
- Feel more energetic
What's obvious is that each of these WHYs is very different.
People with different WHYs will respond differently to your ads.
Psychographics in Advertising
Psychographics is a big word.
But it basically means emotions and beliefs that influence why people do stuff.
In other words, WHY.
Let's take a look at one of those WHYs from above:
I have a friend with severe sleep apnea. Sometimes he wakes up choking on his own vomit. His weight problem is a real risk to his health. Appealing to his sex drive is unlikely to motivate him in the same way that helping him solve sleep apnea would.
Similarly, an appeal to reduce sleep apnea (which is correlated with obesity) would be lost on someone without this issue. It's likely a small subset of the overall weight loss demographic.
So what should your ad strategy be?
Ad Specificity & Advertising Channel
The rule of thumb is:
The more you scale, the more universal your ad appeal must be to work effectively.
A mass media channel such as TV requires what I call the "Common Denominator" ad:
Your marketing strategy at scale is likely a combination of:
- WHY-based ad appeals on highly targeted ad platforms
- Common denominator appeals on the biggest traffic sources
A higher share of profit may come from targeted WHY-based ads because they will convert at higher rates, but:
Most of your revenue will come from common denominator ads
After all, selling sex to someone who can't breath at night is a losing proposition.
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