Dave: Hi Chris.
Chris: We wanted to talk about Impact Quotient. I would like to start by asking you what that means to a client.
Dave: Well, simply put, Impact Quotient is an ad’s power to convince. There are strong ads and weak ads, and most businesses really don’t think all that much about whether or not their ad is carrying the weight that it should be based on their budget. If two businesses have identical budgets and spend it on the exact same schedules on a radio station, for example, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to have the exact same results because the Impact Quotient of an ad can leverage a schedule to outperform an identical schedule.
Basically, it can turn a smaller ad budget into a larger share of mind by leveraging a more convincing ad than your competitors. You can literally get double the results of a budget by having a really strong, really powerful ad. It doesn’t really cost that much to do a better ad than a mediocre ad. That’s the really surprising part.
Chris: And maybe you said this, but are we talking specifically about the ad copy, the theme of the advertising campaign?
Dave: The really important thing when you’re writing an ad for a business is to find something to say that is powerful enough that you can make a powerful ad about it. Most businesses just want to write we have fast, friendly service and we’ve been here since 1952.
Chris: Family owned and operated.
Dave: For all your “fill in the blank” needs.
Chris: And prices. Prices seem to always find their way into it.
Dave: They think that everybody wants to hear what every little thing is going to cost when they come in. In reality, what you really want is a powerful offer. That goes deeper than just writing a powerful ad. It digs into the strategy of the business itself. If your business hasn’t thought through how you’re going to stand out from your competitors, it makes it really tough for an ad writer and you end up with mediocre ads.
Chris: And when you say a powerful offer, you’re not just talking about this weekend’s sale. You’re talking about what your business has to offer a customer.
Dave: Exactly. There a chain, I guess it’s a franchise of heating and air conditioning companies, and our Wizard of Ads Partner, Roy Williams, put together the strategy for them and the messaging. They’re called One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning.
They could just run an ad that talks about how they’re a heating and air conditioning company and they’ll take care of you and come out and fix your air conditioner when it breaks and fix your heater when it’s not working, just like all the other HVAC companies. These guys invested in a business model that says, “Look, if we’re not there when we say we’re going to be there, you don’t pay for our call. You don’t pay for anything that you need.”
That takes some strategy back in the operations of the business. These guys not only have to deliver what they say on their message, they have to figure out how they’re going to deliver it. It’s a little bit deeper than just the message on the face of it on their ads, because the ads say if we’re not on time, you don’t pay a dime.
They put systems in place that allow them to follow up on that promise. It’s worked like gangbusters for them. They’ve had something to say that other HVAC companies just can’t do. They can’t match it because they don’t understand that there’s also a system behind it. But it makes for a very, very powerful ad. A high Impact Quotient.
Chris: I think one of the most interesting things is the first time I’ve heard the name of the business, when you just said it, and that’s the first thing that popped into my mind, One Hour Heating and Air. There it is right there. That’s going to appeal to a lot of people, but then like you said, they have to have the business model and everything in place to back that up.
Dave: Exactly. The powerful thing about that Chris is that that business concept resonates in so many of our minds because it brings to mind, it pulls right back to the center of our brain where we remember having experiences where we’re sitting around our house waiting for the cable guy to show up, waiting for the plumber to show up, waiting for the air conditioning guy to show up, waiting for the phone company guy to show up. All they’ll ever say to us is we’ll be there between 8:00 a.m. and noon.
Chris: I just went through that just recently. It’s so true, because we were told 1:00 to 3:00 and I think it was 3:30 or 3:45 when they actually made it, so it’s always a challenge.
Dave: Here’s a company that says, “Hey if we say we’re going to be there at 2:00, if we’re late and we were coming to install a new air conditioner, then we’re going to give it to you free. We’re that confident in what we’re doing.” They have systems for it, and to be honest, they actually charge a little bit more for that kind of service.
You can call this same company and say well I’m here all day so you can be here between 9 and noon, and they’ll say, “Okay that’s cool too because our hourly rate is a little bit less if you give us that kind of leeway. We don’t have to schedule as tightly.” They do have that as part of the system.
Chris: The customer pays for that premium.
Dave: You pay for that premium because that’s what you want to do. There are plenty of people that are willing to do that, and there are people that aren’t that are home all day. They basically offer the best of both worlds, whichever you want.
Chris: Obviously, that strategy is not going to work for every company. How does a company decide what it is that does work for them? How do they get that kind of a reaction?
Dave: Well, it just depends on the company. It depends on so many factors. You have to take into account the product that you’re selling or service that you’re providing, what the buying cycle is, and most importantly where you’re at in the mix of your competitors.
You have to find those strategies in order to stand out, but you do it based on analyzing what everybody else is doing and try to figure out how are we going to be different and how are we going to be more valuable? What can we add to the equation that’s going to make us stand out?
That gives us something we can talk about and that can make all the difference. If you don’t have that, if you’re just selling something that is the same that you’re going to get in any other store that carries that, a good example would be any kind of a brand name product. If you’re talking about a Rolex watch for example.
I’ll end today with one of Roy H. Williams, probably one of his most famous ads, because it’s one that he uses in presentations, it’s one that we’ve used in seminars. This is the kind of ad that you would write to create a powerful message around something that’s going to be the same no matter where you buy it, and that’s a Rolex watch. It doesn’t matter where you buy your Rolex watch, you’re getting a Rolex watch. It’s going to be the same. The store you buy it in doesn’t really make that much of a difference, and you’re going to pay the same for it really no matter where you buy it. You have to come up with something that’s powerful and puts the listener into the ad the way your competitors aren’t doing.
Chris: They’re going to feel some emotion or some connection to your particular store.
Dave: Exactly. Let me read this ad to you.
“You’re standing in the snow five and a half miles above sea level gazing at a horizon hundreds of miles away. Life here is serious. You live or you die. No whining, no second chances, no compromises. This is a place constantly ravaged by wind and snow, where every ragged breath is an accomplishment. You stand on the upper most pinnacle of the Earth. This is the mountain called Everest. Yesterday it was considered unbeatable, but that was yesterday. As Edmond Hillary surveyed the horizon from the peak of Mount Everest, he monitored the time on a wristwatch specifically designed to withstand the fury of the world’s most angry mountain. Rolex believed Sir Edmond would conquer Everest, and especially for him they created the Rolex Explorer. In every life there’s an Everest to be conquered. When you’ve conquered yours you’ll find your Rolex waiting patiently for you to come pick it up at Young Jewelers. I’m Dave Young and I’ve got a Rolex for you.”
What happens in 60 seconds, Chris, using verbs, active voice, audacity, and really strong first and last mental images in that ad, we actually transferred ownership of that watch to you. That’s a powerful ad. If we just ran price and item on Rolex, that would be pretty weak.
Chris: It gets someone to start thinking about how will that affect me? A relationship between them and the watch almost.
Dave: You actually have to put the listener into the ad. If you can do that or create a strategy that you can talk about that’s more powerful than your competitors, either one of those is a good way to affect a higher Impact Quotient in your ads.
Chris: Some people are going to be able to come up with original ads with creative things, but maybe not the whole concept, like what we’ve been talking about, the Impact Quotient. How can they get more help doing that to make their business stand out from all the rest?
Dave: They can contact me. I can do consulting. That’s what I do for a living is consult with owner operated businesses about exactly these kinds of things. I’ve also got some training programs that people could take a look at if they want to try to do it and become better at writing these kinds of ads on their own.
Chris: Okay. We’ll share some more thoughts on BrandingBlog SoundBites with Dave Young. Thanks for joining us, Dave.
Dave: Thank you, Chris.
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