Monday, January 30, 2012

And The Most Important Keyword For Your Business Is...

Quick, name the song title by the classic rock group Foreigner that should apply to almost every ad campaign! Answer after the jump...

Two things happened recently that reminded me to commit this post to blog. The first was Dr. Pepper Snapple's purchase and subsequent closing of their Dublin, TX distributorship. The Dublin version of Dr. Pepper was still made via the original recipe using cane sugar (not high fructose corn syrup) as the sweetener and, though the parent company said the cane sugar version would still be available, the end of the Dublin produced Dr. Pepper (specially labelled with "Dublin") sent its' devotees on a buying frenzy to snap up what they could before it was all gone.

The other thing I thought worthy of mention was McDonald's marketing of their McRib sandwich. Their recent social media McMeltdown aside, McDonald's always manages to create a frenzy for their disgusting slab of pork bits and God knows what else shaped into patty resembling a side of ribs, slathered in sauce, topped with pickles and onions, and slapped between a bun. How? They serve it only for limited time and those folks who actually hate themselves enough to actually ingest one or more McRib sandwiches scramble to get as many as they can during the limited run. In fact, there are actually networks and websites devoted to locating McDonald's outlets serving the McRib. That McDonald's is marketing savvy enough to limit serving the McRib to roughly once a year (no doubt in hopes people will forget how truly awful it really is in the interim) is sheer marketing genius.

So what do these two events have in common with a song from Foreigner?

Urgency! Though one was user created and one marketer created, both these examples show what urgency can do for your marketing. It's the little trick that can compel consumers to act on your advertising. Think about it. How many times have you jumped when you've heard the words "Limited Time Offer," "Quantities are Limited," or "Sale Ends On..."? If those words have ever compelled you to shop somewhere or buy an item you hadn't planned on purchasing, then you've experienced the power of urgency in marketing.

Granted, adding urgency doesn't apply to every advertising application but, if you've got something to sell at a specific price point, limited quantity or time period, then be sure there's urgency in your advertising and call to action. It can be as simple as any of the phrases above or as complex as spelling it out in the fine print. No matter how you do it, make sure your customers know now is the time to buy what you're selling.

In summary, I'll leave you with two takeaways. If you want your advertising, be it print, direct mail, TV, radio or online, to generate immediate action, remember the words of Foreigner and make it urgent. And, before you enjoy a delightful McRib sandwich, be sure to make note of the nearest urgent care clinic...

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