If you’re beginning to think about taking your practice’s marketing plan to the next level with an advertising campaign, then it might be time to think about the message you want to send. In advertising, there are six message strategies that are most commonly used: emotional, unique selling proposition, generic, positioning, brand image or pre-emptive. Knowing which message strategy you want your practices to use is a big first step towards creating a successful ad campaign.
An emotional message strategy uses feeling to sell. An ad using this tactic should make their target audience feel an emotional connection to the product or brand. For a powerful example of emotional advertising, watch this ad about the importance of first aid.
2. Unique Selling Proposition
This strategy highlights something unique about your product or brand that others do not offer. What is the differentiated factor that sets your practice apart? What resonates with your prospects? This is the main selling point. A great example of this is included in Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle TED Talk in which he expresses a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership; starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?
When an ad is using a generic strategy, then it is focusing on selling the category rather than the specific brand. For example, you may choose to highlight why visiting the dentist is a smart choice rather than highlighting why visiting your specific practice is a good choice. Here is an example of using the category of teeth whitening to drive traffic to your practice, without specifically selling people on it first.
Positioning identifies the product or brand as the best in comparison to the competition. Often times these ads will boast features such as #1 in customer service.
5. Brand Image
If you decide to create a psychological connection with a brand/product, then you are likely using this message strategy. This strategy often times creates a personality for a brand and may not always specifically sell a product. For example, Johnson & Johnson used the idea of “love” in one of their ads, not necessarily targeted at a specific product.
Last but not least, is the choice to use pre-emptive strategy. This means that you are choosing to be the first to make a claim about your product or service. This claim may also be true for your competition, but you are the first to tell your target audience about it. Listerine used this strategy in their ads that claimed their breath strips would be like covering up a crime scene.
Again, success depends on first finding the right message.