Basics of All Advertising and Selling: Benefit!


If you can’t think of a benefit, don’t waste time or money trying to convince someone to buy what you’re selling.

You know that nothing happens ‘til somebody sells something, that the sale is what starts the whole process moving. Let’s do some more burrowing under the foundations of successful advertising and see just what this “Benefit” business is all about.

No one buys anything, anyhow, anyway without concluding that the perceived benefit outweighs the value of the money saved by not buying. (That is Eternal Truth #5.) “Perception of value” is the throbbing heart of the sale and the advertising leading to it. “Benefit” is a critical, multi-faceted concept. Ponder how the following question can direct the focus of your advertising (the list in Direct Mail) and pinpoints the thrust of the message.

“To whom are you selling what ultimate benefit that will improve someone’s business or lifestyle.” The “to whom?” is the audience. The “ultimate benefit” is what the benefit really means to the buyer. In B2B advertising it means that your improved, adjustable loading ramp for loading docks means few injuries and lower workmen’s comp and other insurance costs. For a homeowner a dishwasher means less work, neater kitchen and more time to spend with the kids.

By asking and answering this “to whom…ultimate benefit” question BEFORE you start writing your advertising message/campaign, you’ll (1) define your target audience, (2) extract the ultimate benefit of your product or service and (3) have the focus for talking to your audience.

Lewis R. Elin
Lewis R. Elin Consulting
Lewis R. Elin spent most of his working career selling work uniforms and flame resistant safety clothing via direct mail and catalogs. He is a recipient of the DMMA “Direct Mail Spokesman” award and participated in panels and lectured for the DMMA and the DMA. He co-taught a course on Direct Mail Basics at the Indiana University extensions in South Bend and Indianapolis. He has also lectured at the Merit Direct Business Mailer’s Summer Co-Op. Mr. Elin is best known for his “Hi-5 Eternal Truths of All Successful Direct Mail Advertising.”

About Nate Marks

We live and work in a world of visual images.
This entry was posted in Branding, Business, Design, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s