Marketing 101: Where Inspiration Hides

MarketingFor startup founders, whether you’re just beginning or have been in the business for years, marketing can sometimes bring its own form of ‘writer’s block’.

With so many ads, commercials and blogs these days, it’s hard to generate fresh or new ideas. Just like movies, many ads are being recreated to suit the business they are marketing for.

As if creating an original ad wasn’t hard enough, finding the inspiration to do this can be even harder. Where do you look when you have nowhere else to turn?

Using Yourself

You don’t have to tell an extremely embarrassing story that once it’s read or seen, everyone will know it was you – but you can use some of your life experiences or experiences of others to help generate inspiration.

Think about situations or issues you’ve had and then think about the aspects of your company that excel. Do any of these aspects intertwine with your past issues? Addressing issues that are real and happen regularly are what appeal to the consumer.

Sure, Lebron James drinking Mountain Dew may inspire basketball fans to go out and buy a case of Mountain Dew but is that a real life experience buyers can relate to?

In the all-time favorite movie Mr. Mom, mother Caroline is forced to go back to work after her husband loses his job. In one scene of the movie, she is required to help create a commercial that will help sell tuna products for a tuna company. The commercial she creates says this:

“All of us here at Schooner Tuna sympathize with all of you hit so hard by these trying economic times. In order to help you, we are reducing the price of Schooner Tuna by 50 cents a can. When this crisis is over, we will go back to our regular prices. Until then, remember, we’re all in this together. Schooner Tuna. The tuna with a heart.”

That is real; it speaks to consumers and sympathizes with them.

Study the Competition

In no way is it ethical to steal the ideas of the competition, but using their advertisements can be a helpful way to generate fresh inspiration for your own advertising.

Obviously large corporations are doing something correct or something that is working, so check it out. See what they are doing that works. Your own opinion plays an important role here, because you are one of the consumers the competition is speaking to.

You must ask yourself what areas of their advertising you like or which ones bother you? Are there certain things that catch your attention that is common with all advertisers or do you like uniqueness between each and every ad?

Don’t be afraid to use the competition and then see what your business has to offer. There are many differences between your company and another company, so utilize your better areas. Does your business do something better or faster? Is it cheaper to buy from you?

Think like a Child

If you’re struggling to find inspiration, when all else fails, think like a child.

Yes, a child. Rewind your memory years back: do you recall seeing a commercial or ripping the page out of a magazine that advertised one of the coolest and most amazing toys you ever saw and could not live another day without?

If you are thinking back to that time, you probably even remember what the toy was. What was it that made it so undeniably necessary?

Just because you were a child when you saw the advertisement doesn’t mean it didn’t do its job. As an adult, you tend to think more rationally and adjust the reasons as to why you need something, but you’ve seen a TV commercial and thought, “Man, I could really use that”.

Find the keys and elements to the advertisements that capture your attention and use them to your own advantage.

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