A new client of mine came on board recently, an Amusement Hire company.
This company hires Carnival/Fair rides and amusements to schools and businesses.
Whilst businesses tend to hire such amusements and rides for staff picnics and Christmas parties, it is the school sector that is the most profitable audience.
When having my first meeting with this new client, I was shown the various pieces of printed collateral and of course I checked the website.
In all communications, there was the predictable “Carnival ambiance” of lots of small photographs of the rides, the laughing clowns and side show alley amusements, etc.
But guess what? All of these marketing are missing one major important thing – What problem was this company’s products are solving?
Are you marketing your features instead of your benefits?
This Amusement Hire company has fallen into the trap of marketing its products’ features – rather than thinking harder the situation and marketing the benefits that its products offer.
I said to the owner “You’re actually a professional fund raising company, aren’t you? After all, the schools hire your equipment for their annual fate and the aim is to raise as much money as possible?”
His reply was “Yes, yes, absolutely!”
So I highlighted to him that he needed to flip his marketing model to his head and focus more on messages that involved demonstrating to school PNC committees that his business provided expertise in raising funds for schools!
This was somewhat an epiphany for the owner of this Amusement Hire Company, as for many years his marketing has simply mirrored that of his competitors.
And let’s face it, all of his competitors are caught up in the carnival/amusement mindset of simply pushing their merry-go-rounds, dodging cars, sizzlers and side show alley amusements.
The irony is that these companies make their money out of flashing lights, bright motifs and lots of bells and whistles – yet when it comes to marketing their products to schools, their websites and printed collaterals are woefully boring and bland.
As a result of having this new client, I have studied the marketing material and website of his competitors and it is very clear that the whole industry lacks any professional marketing savvy.
The brochures and websites simply feature small, fuzzy photographs of empty rides and amusements formatted all over the page.
There is no structure to their marketing, no problem/solution tactics, no video testimonials from school principal raving about the amount of money raised on the last fate, and wait for it……no video of the actual rides and amusements in operation!!!
Are you making the same mistake in your business?
I can assure you that the owner of the Amusement Hire business is very excited about the new focus his marketing will be concentrating on – ie: demonstrating and boasting to schools that his company provides unique expertise in showing them how to raise lots of money quickly at school fate or fair.
When I ask him if he had examples of schools benefiting from his expertise, he spoke of the school client which lifted its fundraising from around $40,000 the year before they engaged his amusements to $93,000 the year he supplied the popular rides!
In other words, it was his expertise that more than doubled the schools fundraising efforts!
Now something to sing about and I highlighted to him that he needed as many of these as he could muster, as such “real case studies” are massive conversion tools to PC committees and school principals.
Ask yourself “Am I perhaps missing the main game as well?”
In other words, are you pushing your products or services for their “features” instead of the “benefits” you deliver to your clients?
I was speaking to another client just yesterday, a reasonably large accountancy practice.
The female owner showed me samples of their advertising over the previous 12 months before they came on-board my program and not one advertisement highlighted the “benefits” of someone using their services.
Their website and all printed collateral (and radio ads) concentrated on telling prospects that they could get their tax returns looked after, superannuation program set up and enjoy general financial advice.
I explained to this accountant that their messages are identical to 99% of other accountants (most of whom have extremely lame marketing messages) and was missing the point.
What do accountants and financial planners provide?
You guessed it – “peace of mind.”
Whether it be the peace of mind of knowing your tax return has been done properly and the tax man is not going to knock on your door anytime soon – or if you’re at a certain age, you’re going to be comfortable in retirement because of the excellent financial planning advice you’re receiving.
At the end of the day, accountants and financial planners much like doctors – except their prescriptions are going to be giving you financial comfort and peace of mind.
The owner of the accountancy business immediately concur with my advice in this regard and would be flipping her marketing model on its head very quickly.
Remember, it’s all about you providing solutions to your prospects’ problem– as fast and easy as possible – providing benefits that are possibly difficult for them to find elsewhere.
So go through all of the problems, challenges and fears that your target audience might have
and determine ways how you can communicate your “solutions” both online and offline.
Trust me, if you do these, you will leave your competitors in your wake, because 95% of businesses don’t use this direct-response formula!