From Our Desk, AIDA Potato Marketing Spud Smart Winter 2011

From Our Desk

Put AIDA in your Potato Marketing

FromOurDesk_CraigArmstrongAs the director of business development at Spud Smart magazine, a lot of marketing and advertising materials cross my desk. Whatever your occupation in the Canadian potato sector, as a professional in this industry, a basic understanding of the principles of marketing and advertising is essential to your business. We are all selling something—our products, service, expertise—in a very crowded marketplace. How do you begin to differentiate your business and not become a me-too player in this industry?

Fine-tuning your marketing and advertising strategies and delivering a precisely targeted message can be challenging tasks. Most marketers, managers and business owners, although very talented at what they do, do not have the time, resources or copywriting experience necessary to truly optimize their messaging. By default, marketers keep copying each other and the message becomes less effective each time.

The good news is there is a simple fix for this widespread problem—and I’m going to give you the goods.

Four simple words make up the powerful marketing acronym AIDA, which, unfortunately, most marketers never use. The AIDA principles can help position or differentiate your business and truly communicate your unique value proposition in the marketplace. If you are thinking about sending a general message to the marketplace, you can use these principles as a template to create anything—print ads, a mission statement, sales letters, brochures, direct-mail postcards or a 30-second elevator pitch.

AIDA is essentially the four stages of a sale, and stands for attention, interest, desire, and action.

Attention—this is your headline. Note that your logo, business name, a clever pun or the statement, “We’re the world leader in quality widgets,” is not an effective headline. No one cares about that stuff. All consumers care about is, “What’s in it for me?” You must create a headline that pushes a hot button or offers a tangible benefit. This stops the audience and compels them to read further.

Interest—applying this principle engages your audience—you only have 3.2 seconds to gain their attention. You must offer them a promise that problem-solving information is forthcoming—that if they read further, they will receive information that will help facilitate their decision-making process.

Desire—this is the educational or problem-solving element to your marketing or advertising campaign. You must tell your audience that you understand their problem and have the perfect solution to fix it. And fix it like no one else can.

Action—you cannot assume that your audience will know what to do next or will take the initiative to figure out what you would like them to do. There is a rule in marketing that states, “no unsupervised thinking.” You must present a clear call to action. Direct instructions for your customer on how to take the next step toward solving his or her problem is essential. For example, I often have to squint to read the phone number and website or email addresses on many print ads. Don’t make your prospect squint. Be clear on how they can easily, and with low risk and little effort, take the next step to becoming a qualified lead with your company.

Enabling yourself by using these principles will provide you with a clear message to present to the marketplace as well as an edge over your competition. Remember, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man (or marketer) is king.” Think about it.

For more information, or to receive a free ad writing template, please contact me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.