Print Isn’t Dead, Only Bad Ideas Are

Last month, I presented a seminar entitled “Powerful Print Ads: A Hands-on Session to Build Better Brand Awareness.” Some of the attendees only know me as the editor of Therefore, an online journalist–and a journalist, no less–talking about print advertising may have seemed strange. But, I spent nearly 20 years as a magazine staff editor. What’s more, I own a few companies, and therefore approve and/or craft all of their marketing messaging. The message I wanted the seminar attendees to hear loud and clear was simple. Print advertising isn’t dead. It’s just the way it’s being done that’s dead.

Think about how many times you’ve read a sales pitch along these lines: “Here’s our product. It’s really cool. Want to buy it?”

B-o-o-o-o-r-i-n-g, right? Off-putting, too: It’s in-your-face salesmanship. No wonder it’s no longer working with consumers.

Instead, the key is to convey your driving motivation, your core beliefs, first–then move on to how you do things, and conclude with what you offer. Simon Sinek said it best in his immensely popular TED Talk: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” (On a side note, if you don’t know who Simon Sinek is, watch his TED Talk on YouTube. I promise it will be the best 20 minutes of your day.)

The most successful messaging these days makes an emotional or logical connection with consumers first and foremost. Once they sense you believe what they believe, then they’re open to learning more. Take a step back and consider your own reactions as a consumer. Your purchasing patterns surely follow suit.

The bottom line is this: Banish bad ideas to the circular file. Permanently.

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