Thursday, May 31, 2012


Advertising and marketing in the twenty-first century must follow rules quite different from those that worked well only a decade or two ago. Barry Adelman, master consulting agent with Monopolize Your Marketplace, gave a paying audience at the Orange County Chamber of Commerce on May 23, 2012, a detailed analysis of these new rules for successful advertising and marketing. He had gotten interested in modern marketing when he found the traditional approaches had lost effectiveness.

The essence of successful marketing is to “find out what’s important to your prospects and talk about that in your marketing.” You need to have something to say; say it well; say it often. What you say will help determine the “outside perception” of your “inside reality,“ the quality of your product or service and of your overall performance. You need to have an inside reality of true worth and then work to get the outside perception to be correct. There are no good “tricks” to avoid doing this and still succeed.

The current problem for advertisers is the plethora of advertising messages delivered to customers from sites unavailable fifty years ago: many more TV channels, more publications, the Internet– together bombarding potential consumers with more than ten times the number of messages formerly delivered. How can you stand out? The point is not to just stand out, but to help the prospective buyer make the best decision possible when buying your product or service.

The old formula for ad creation was: creativity and repetition. Something clever, repeated over and over again, like Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” or McDonald’s “You deserve a break today.”

Repetition figuratively branded the message onto the neurons of the public mind. There are few current slogans of comparable familiarity. It is too expensive to make oneself heard so repetitively now.

Even where repetition is avoided, advertising too often relies on mere platitudes, unsupported claims that lack specificity and credibility. “Highest quality” … says who? “Reliable”…you would hope so. Such vague claims fail to assist the consumer in crossing the confidence gap, assuring the potential buyer of getting the best deal. Most advertising is simply a menu board list of what is available to buy. The advertiser is in essence saying, “Buy it from me for no justifiable reason.“ No one is building a case for why/how they offer the best “deal.“ Human nature demands that we want the best deal possible, but few advertisers help us make that decision. Effective advertising and marketing takes the prospects from thinking that they might like X to deciding to buy X and buy it from you now.

To bridge the confidence gap, Adelman presented the “marketing equation,”

Interrupt + Engage + Educate + Offer = Sales & Profits

Interrupt: get their attention, with your “headline,“ hit their “hot buttons.”

Engage: keep interested those whose attention you have captured.

Educate: provide enough information for an informed decision.

Offer: give something in return for the prospect’s action.

Your ad should take the viewer from the Alpha Mode [not paying attention] to the Beta Mode [mentally engaged] to Reticular Activation [compellingly engaged-by material that is familiar, odd or unusual, or problematic].

Activators take their recipients from a lesser to a greater degree of mental involvement: a baby’s crying, clock’s alarm, a familiar scent, a song from one’s youth….

“Hot buttons” are activators with emotional content, such as problems needing to be solved. What might be hot buttons for LASIK eye surgery? Potential customers might fear eye damage, pain, cost…. An effective LASIK ad would address these concerns clearly and credibly. Unfortunately, such ads are harder to write than those with glittering generalities, but they pay off.

Adelman’s talk was received with enthusiasm. More information was made available via various media and possible memberships. I bought a book, Monopolize Your Marketplace, written by a colleague of his, Richard Harshaw; it goes into various elements of Barry Adelman‘s presentation in greater detail.

Contact information: Barry Adelman:,
(845) 469.0900.

1 comment:

  1. Advertising and marketing is the best way to populate your business among the people. Market research is the process of understanding what your customers want from your business.
    Measuring Advertising Effectiveness