If there’s one thing that separates an old-fashioned movie from a modern movie is that the old-fashioned ones never relied on special effects to make an impact. Why? Because they didn’t have the ability to create them, except in the most rudimentary way. That meant they had to rely on other things to make the movie interesting, and those other things were great characters, interesting stories, gripping plots and emotion. That’s why some of those old movies can still entertain people sixty or seventy years after they were made, while many of those modern movies that rely on whizz-bang special effects lose their novelty value within a few years, or even months.
This doesn’t mean that a movie with special effects will be no good, but a movie that has no plot or story will fail no matter how good the special effects.
So how can this help with marketing your business?
The best marketing pieces are like those old movies. Just as those old movies didn’t rely on special-effects but used great stories to make them interesting, the best marketing doesn’t rely on flashy graphics or tricks, and relies on basic sales elements to get the message across. The most simple sales elements are:
1. What you have to sell
2. What your product or service does
3. Why it will make a person’s life better
4. How a person can buy it
Put these basic elements into your marketing and you’ll do better than all the flashy graphics and advertising “tricks” in the world, because you’re telling your prospects exactly what they need to know to make a purchase decision. It’s like the best movies do when they give you a full story, with all the different elements tied up at the end.
Now, it’s more difficult to write a movie with a great story and plot than it is to get some computer geek to press a button and summon up some computer-generated monsters. And it’s more difficult to write an advertisement that uses all the best sales elements (and in an interesting way) than it is to just create a logo and a slogan and plaster it everywhere.
You need to take time to think of exactly how your product or service will improve someone’s life, and get this sales information over in the most persuasive way. You also need to think about how to show the superiority of your product, and think of important elements such as your guarantee.
But the rewards of doing it right are worth the effort. And even by following the basics of the sales elements shown above, you’ll do well.
So the next time you create a piece of advertising and are tempted to use “special-effects” like bright colors, crazy images and catchy slogans, remember those old movies and how they kept their audience interested with the basics of good storytelling. Give your prospects as much of a story as you can, and tell them at least the basics of what they need to know to buy your stuff.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautifully-designed advertisement or website, or use “special-effects” to get impact. But miss out the basic sales elements and your special-effects probably won’t have any effect at all.