Advertising to Felt Needs

No one cares about you. Except for you. That should be the first rule of advertising, but it’s not. If you listen to any ads today you’ll quickly identify that most organizations just talk about themselves. Sounds like a bad first date. Me, me, me instead of you, you, you.

Advertising to felt needs is the fundamental assumption that the potential customer only cares about their needs. Not even their real needs, only their perceived needs. These are the needs they feel. If you want to engage their attention you are going to need to talk about what they care about – which is them and their needs, not you and your qualifications.

These are 3 examples from my trade area of New Orleans where organizations only talk about themselves and never about the felt need of the customer in their advertising.

You’ve got 30 precious seconds for most ads, but most people still insist on talking about themselves the whole time. A Better approach is to focus on the need the advertising recipient is experiencing. The goal of branding is to be the first provider which pops into their mind when the perceived need arises. This will require frequency and repetition in your advertising which is why an annual and consistent promotion schedule is vital.

Understanding Calculating The Ad Budget will help you to determine the number of people you can effectively reach with your message based upon your financial commitment.

A good example of local business advertising which approaches the felt need of the customer is the DWI Dr. from Metairie, LA.

The whole focus of the good Dr.’s message is upon the felt need of the customer. When most people are arrested for a DWI it is a life consuming moment of panic and fear. And most of us would not know what to do to begin to take care of the process. The Dr. doesn’t focus on his credentials, his experience, his strategy or the options he offers. He only focuses on the felt need of the customer.

***Please note*** I’ve selected all 4 examples to have the same level of production. I want to illustrate how speaking to a felt need isn’t dependent on the quality of production, but instead on the focus of the advertising.

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