How Sexy is Your Marketing?
Mark Hale ‐ September 16, 2014
What is “Sexy” Marketing?
The term sex appeal has been used in marketing since the mid 1960’s. Typically it means using a scantily dressed model to sell some product. Marketers found out that using these models attracted attention. Early on, it worked. Then over the years the art of using sex appeal has degraded to the point that most of the ads you see today are only selling sex and fall far short of getting a product sold.
The 3 things all advertising has to accomplish are: 1) attract attention, 2) impinge a message on the viewer and 3) get someone to buy something. (You can do that without using a half naked body.)
How can you use sex appeal to create more business? It is probably not how you think!
To understand exactly what your ad needs to do to have “sex appeal” and be effective, we need to start by defining some terms:
- Attention – The concentration of the mental powers upon an object; a close or careful observing or listening. 2. Observant consideration; notice.
- Impinge – to have an effect; make an impression.
- Sex appeal – n. desirability, attractiveness, allure, glamour, sensuality, magnetism, sexiness, oomph.
You will notice in the definition of “Sex Appeal” that only two of the descriptive definitions are about sex or bodies. Most of the descriptions have to do with appeal and creating an attraction to something. For marketing purposes any advertising that creates interest and desire for a product could be considered to have “Sex Appeal.”
How you use sex appeal depends on who the target audience is for the advertising. The target audience would also determine what type of medium you would use; postcard, direct mailer, full color self mailing brochure, billboard, TV or radio advertising. Even your business cards, stationery and pocket folders should be designed so they appeal and impinge on your target audience.
Look at your company’s marketing materials, do they attract and demand attention?
Lets talk about impingement. Have you ever seen a billboard with a compelling message that made you look twice? Or how about an intriguing direct mail piece that you just had to open? Do you remember what the ad said? If not, the ad did a good job of getting attention but fell short of impinging a message to you.
There are ways to build a message so that it attracts attention. The use of color, a bold headline and a photo are important elements. The use of eye trail is also very important. Eye trail is the design technique of catching the attention of the viewer with some element in the ad and then directing their eye (and attention) through the ad and ending up at the call-to-action section of ad. But impingement comes from how you put these things together.
The overall ad has to communicate to your target audience. A large part of the reason a piece of advertising impinges is that it contains information on what your prospects and customers need and want. To get that information you need to survey your customers and prospects to find out what they need and what problem they are trying to solve by buying your product. With this information you have the basic building materials to create effective marketing and advertising.
After the advertising is created the next step is to do a flash test survey of the completed ad. Simply take the ad and show it to a customer for about 10 seconds and then ask them what they got from the ad. NOTE: It is best to show the ad to a customer not an employee. Showing your advertising to your employees or sales people is usually a bad idea because you will get invalid feedback on the ad. Your employees are definitely more educated about your product or service than your customers and they will have a different viewpoint about your product or service than your customers. Your customers and prospects, the people whom you are trying to influence and sell something to, are generally uneducated about your company and your products and services. Since you are trying to sell to the uneducated only their viewpoint matters. You want to find out if the ad gets the attention of your customers and if the message impinges on them.
You want to find out:
1. What did the ad communicate to them?
2. What did they remember from the ad?
We have put together a 10-point checklist to help you build an effective ad whether you decide to use our company or not. Our graphic artists can help you design effective postcards and direct mail pieces. We design and print other materials as well. At some point, if you don’t already have it, you need a total image package to tie together all of your marketing so that everything is going in one direction.
Do you want effective marketing that creates customers for you business? As you can see marketing your company is a full time job. Our company acts as a marketing arm for many of our clients saving them time and money.
I hope this information helped you. If we can do anything to help your company to be more successful please give us a call.
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