Archive for July, 2007

Are you making it personal?

A while back I was reviewing an advertising mailer that a guy I know was sending out. (Ok, it wasn’t that he had ASKED me to review it, that part just comes naturally when looking at ads!)

There was a picture of the owner leaning up against his tractor.

Appalachian Dirt Works








And the caption? “A quality job is our guarantee”.

I saw it and thought…”now that looks nice…here is a pretty people-friendly guy, reaching out on a personal level, to make a face-to-face connection with a potential customer”.

But what was glaring to me was the caption. He spent the money to have his picture made, and put on this mailer. His image…his repuation are put on the line for each job. So I changed one word.

The new caption reads: “A quality job is my guarantee”

See the difference? In fact, you can almost hear the guy’s voice saying it now, even if you’ve never heard him speak before!

So what about you? Does your business operate on a very personal, one-to-one level? If so, are your customer interactions taylored to build that personality? Or are you building a large, “corporate” image, while your interactions…the core of you, are really at a personal level?

It’s ok to seem larger than you are. Unless you’re marketing yourself!

“The way car buying should be”?…

Seen an ad for CarMax lately? You know, the nations largest retailer of new cars?

So I saw an ad recently that was speaking to their 125 point inspection. In fact, they say it’s 12 hours of inspections per car! They showed a clean cut technician, in a super clean shop, inspecting a vehicle.

But here are some thoughts.

Showing the technicians inspecting the car isn’t impressive. Anyone can do that. And besides, there was nothing in the ad that let me know they would repair, tune up, or fix a car. Anyone can inspect it, but did they fix it? Now, showing the technician REJECTING a car? THAT would be powerful. To show me that you don’t just let anything through the door and onto the lot. The guy buffing the car? I thought “yeah, I wonder what else they cover up?”

You told me about quality, but you didn’t SHOW me quality. Show me, instead of uing the word. I didn’t understand that you stand behind any car you sell. I didn’t understand that not everything get’s through. And I didn’t understand what “quality” meant. Did it mean that you have clean shops? That your techs can really look at a car? That they know how to wear blue shirts?

SHOW me what quality is, and how it will make a difference in my car-buying experience. EVERYONE says they have a 48,000 point inspection. But only CARMAX puts a car on the showroom floor with a big “REJECTED” sticker across the window. Show me why you’re not going to sell me a damaged car. THAT would be powerful!

Same thing…any shop can look good for the video. SHOW me a tech rejecting a car. The result? They’re not just acting!

The Honda rolling out the door. Prepped and ready for the next customer to come look at it.

It’s positive showing the person putting on the Carmax sticker. So many places put those on crooked…but Carmax looks like they care.

Nothing in the ad really ties to the last screen though. What specifically about that ad is “the way car buying should be.”?

So are your ads speaking to your core values? Or are they just pretty ads?