For some companies, advertisements are all about generating buzz with artsy commercials.
They’re out to win awards for their touching monologues set over sepia-toned backdrops of quiet farmland—you know, the kind of commercial you waste 30 seconds watching, and think to yourself:
“What on earth are they trying to sell me?”
These people don’t get it. They sit in little echo chambers bouncing the same stale ideas around, and what they wind up with looks more like a B-list movie than an effective ad.
Unfortunately—or rather, fortunately—you and I don’t have multi-million dollar marketing budgets to waste on celebrity voice actors and fireworks.
What we do have are brains, and we’re going to put those bad boys to work making sweet greenbacks. Today, I want to chat about the science of selling. Let’s leave the art out of it.
Selling using LED signs is no different from TV commercials or Facebook ads in one key regard—nothing is up to chance, and nearly every variable can be controlled, tweaked and tested.
Testing and experimenting are the scientific component of advertising, as opposed to the artistic side.
Any time we can mimic the tactics of the hard sciences, we have to take that opportunity. That’s because good, effective science is easier to replicate than good, effective art.
Put another way, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why a sleek sports car looks good, but it’s incredibly simple to figure out why it works well.
Answers to the former are abstract, while answers to the latter are concrete—it’s the realm of engineering and chemistry and physics, with exact numbers.
With our LED signs, we’re not always looking for amazing multimedia messages that have zero substance—if that’s the case, you’re better off plugging in a TV with your favorite Michael Bay movie and plopping it in front of your store.
Instead, we have to measure variables. We have to test and experiment like we’re building a new car, not creating a painting.
Variables of the Sell
So what kind of variables are we looking at? Glad you asked.
First, let’s consider the broadest category of all—your message.
Your message is ultimately derived from your offer, and you need a great offer to craft a killer sales message. A lot of people think it works the other way around, and a slick message can make up for a sub-par offer.
That’s not the case. Offers and sales messages go hand-in-hand, so determine exactly what it is you want to sell, and then determine exactly what it is you want to say.
Once you have that basic, core message down, it’s time to start tweaking. Odds are, your message can be improved greatly, and sometimes you might even have to toss it in the trash and start over.
But that’s the beauty of testing. Much better to shift gears early than sit and wait for months using the same boring, ineffective sales message.
Right, but what can we change? Tons of stuff!
- Scroll speed:
- Font size;
- Message tone;
- Text, image or video-based;
- Targeted messaging based on time of day or particular days, etc.
Nearly every aspect of your LED sign is customizable, and you should take advantage of that flexibility by constantly testing. How simple it would be if we could just snap our fingers and change the font size of a Yellow Pages ad…well, with LEDs you can.
And yes, I know a lot of these options might seem miniscule in the grand scheme of things. But often the smallest tweaks can lead to a cascade of business.
Maybe you have a killer sales message, but people have trouble reading it from the parking lot. Maybe your message is great, but it’s scrolling too slowly for people to catch it on the interstate.
You’ll never know if you aren’t testing!
Test Now, Profit Later
Look, I know it’s difficult coming up with a successful ad. You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into brainstorming. But the correct thing to do isn’t just setting your message and forgetting it; constant testing and tweaking means your ad can evolve and bring in more and more business.
Advertising is a learning process, and its end goal is not just to sell your product or service, but to get to know your customers so you can sell even better in the future.
Treating ads as science experiments is the only measurable way you can see why your LED sign is working, and also how to make it work better.