Why You Might be Wasting 97% of Your Marketing Budget


marketing planwelcome-to-nobody-cares-population-6-billion

How your boating business can cut through advertising clutter and get your marketing message read

A version of this article was originially posted on The Profit Blog

Would you like to know the number one problem in sales and marketing? It can be summarized in only 2 words:

-Nobody Cares-

The reason your audience doesn’t care is actually quite simple.

They are bombarded daily with thousands of commercial messages.

To protect themselves from those constant distractions, they have developed what psychologist call: Inattentional blindness.
Inattentional blindness is the failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on another task, event, or object.

Let me demonstrate it to you with this fascinating experiment conducted by Dan Simons and Chris Chabris from Harvard:

So as you saw in this video, 75% of people don’t even notice a person who changes pretty much in front of their eyes.

So what makes you think that they really care about you or your boats?

Marketers constantly forget about inattentional blindness and keep believing that everybody cares, loves or notices their products or services.

The majority of marketers keep believing that they have the best products in the world when it has been constantly proven that over 90% of their audience don’t care about their products.

This recurring practice explains why more money is wasted on advertising than any other areas in the world, with the exception of politics and military of course.

In his book, the Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes perfectly presents this reality.

The consumer’s pyramid

Chet demonstrates that at any given time,

  • 3% of your prospects are currently in the market to buy your products or services
  • 7% are open to it, but not currently looking.
  • 30% are not really thinking about your product right now.
  • 30% think they’re not interested (but might be, if you did a good job at presenting to them).
  • 30% KNOW they’re not interested.

What it means for any marketer is that 90% of your audience is not immediately interested.

So by presenting a message centered around your product or service, you are guaranteed to waste 90 to 97% of your marketing budget.

Fortunately, some brilliant marketers found ways to actually avoid this inattentional blindness.

They developed one of the single most powerful marketing methodology ever created.

It will allow you to fly under the radar of your consumers and efficiently present your message to the broadest audience.

This technique is called advertorial.
Advertorial is the combination of the words advertisement and editorial.

People are used to reading editorials and often dislike reading ads.

Marketers realized that if you format your ad to look like editorial content, you can gain significant credibility and boost readership.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, people buy magazines for the content, not the advertising.

Photo: Justin Brooke, @imscalable

The combination of advertising and content is a guaranteed success.

It doesn’t only work in print advertising but can be applied in TV, or any digital format.

So we tested it in on our own business and it worked better than anything we’ve ever tried.

There are over 1.1 billion websites in the world right now. A software called ‘Alexa’ ranks all those websites based on their traffic and authority.

We launched our new website just over 6 months ago and as of today, we are currently at the 292,378 position out of all the websites. That represents over one thousand people visiting our site a day.

Our best strategy to bring traffic was to use news content and promote it in different social media news feed. Those campaigns were really efficient and cost us 10 times less than regular advertising.

The most famous advertiser who generated billions of dollars in sales with advertorial was the legendary David Ogilvy.

Ogilvy understood that this technique was the most Powerful Marketing Approach Ever Devised.

One of his earliest split tests, in which one version of an ad was formatted as a traditional ad and the other as an advertorial resulted in the advertorial format getting 81% more orders.

The ad copy was the exact same in each ad — from the headline to the order form.

The only difference was the way the ad was presented (looking like a typical piece of editorial).

So instead of running an ad and saying how great you are, share valuable information to your audience in the form of a regular piece of content.

Let’s have a look at 2 adverts below. In both cases, the technique of disguising the advertising into editorial was done brilliantly.

Ogilvy Advertising Rolls Royce


Ford Advertorial

Do you know the most powerful form of advertising today?

It is called Facebook Dark Post. If you don’t know what is it, Google it right now!

A dark post is the fact of using news feed style ads that do not actually get published to the newsfeed of your page but to a specific and tailored audience.

The best way to use dark post is to create a general newsfeed type post that looks like a regular piece of content and you distribute it directly to the perfectly targeted audience.

For instance, if you have a bait & tackle store in Miami.

  • Create a post called: “What every Fisherman needs to know about bait & tackle when fishing in South Florida”
  • Make sure that your post looks like a regular piece of content.
  • Add a catchy photo to attract the eyes of the reader.
  • Make it as a numbered list to facilitate readership and influence prospect to read it until the end.
  • Add a call to action at the end with the address of your shop or your website details.
  • Select your appropriate target audience. In this case it could be: Male, 35 to 65, who loves boating, fishing, who own a boat etc…You can even choose their profession, relationship status, if they are online spender, what type of boat they own or what type of pages they like,etc…

You will be amazed by the amount of data provided by Facebook to help you find your perfect tailored audience. The Facebook advertising platform is truly remarkable and without a doubt THE MOST powerful advertising method ever created.

Another way to get amazing results is simply by focusing on providing valuable content to your audience without even thinking of advertising.

In his great book Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi shares a great case study on John Deere.

John Deere understood perfectly the power of sharing valuable content to their audience.

They started in 1895 by distributing a magazine to farmers called The Furrow.

The main purpose of the magazine was to educate farmers on how to better manage their crops and become more successful business owners and farmers.

The Furrow was not filled with promotional messages about John Deere Tractors or equipment, but simply to share the best tips and practices to the farmers community.

Now 120 years later, The Furrow is the most circulated farming magazine in the world (over 1.5 million subscribers worldwide). John Deere became as well one of the most popular and recognize agricultural equipment companies.

John Deer Content Marketing

The John Deer story proves that focusing on sharing valuable content to the remaining 90% of your audience, (who is not immediately interested in your product) will bring you huge dividends in your sales & marketing strategies.

So rethink your message next time you are planning to advertise.

Take a look at all your marketing material, website, brochures etc…

Ask yourself: “Does my material revolve around me, my products or services or it is more centered towards solving problems and educating my clients.”

If it is mainly about you and your product, BRAVO, you just found a way to save up to 97% in marketing!


The following two tabs change content below.
Vincent Finetti is the co-founder and CEO of Boat Show Avenue online boat shopping marketplace & Prestige Vision Inc. virtual tour apps. He recently created Yacht Sales Academy to help boat brokers, boat dealers and boat builders to sell more boats.