Scientific Advertising: How to Avoid Expensive Habits
Did you write a paragraph on a landing page about the benefits of your product, designed not for people who use a competing product, but for people who have never heard of the category?
Why Waste Your Paragraph?
Go for those you have a chance of winning and you’ll get the most for your money, not for those who are a step removed from a chance at winning; they aren’t yours to win.
“No one orange grower or raisin grower could attempt to increase the consumption of those fruits. The cost might be a thousand times his share of the returns. But thousands of growers combined have done it on those and many other lines. There lies one of the great possibilities of advertising development. The general consumption of scores of foods can be profitably increased. But it must be done on wide co-operation.”
“No advertiser could afford to educate people on vitamins or germicides. Such things are done by authorities, through countless columns of unpaid-for space. But great successes have been made by going to people already educated and satisfying their created wants.”
Tend Your Own Flock
Instead of inspiring strangers to your category, Hopkins tells us we must observe what we may truly attain, and then swim hard like a surfer chasing the surge.
“It is a very shrewd thing to watch the development of a popular trend, the creation of new desires. Then at the right time offer to satisfy those desires. That was done on yeast's, for instance, and on numerous antiseptics. It can every year be done on new things which some popular fashion or widespread influence is brought into vogue. But it is a very different thing to create that fashion, taste or influence for all in your field to share.”
This does put those tied to a product beside the trend at a disadvantage. But they must know their advertising is best served not preaching to the unconverted, but ministering to the flocks close at hand with the right message.