Why Understanding the Customer Leads to Effective Advertising


I took a psychology class in college that was titled; the art of persuasion.  In the class, we were taught how to understand what is going on inside a person’s mind and how to persuade him/her to your way of thinking—sounds creepy right? Well I loved it, which told me advertising was the right field for me. Not because I like manipulating people, but because I like the idea of putting myself in other people’s shoes, to identify what their problems might be and working towards a solution.

On a professional level, advertising is all about problem solving, it’s how we create a desire for our client’s products and services. Advertisements pose problems and provide solutions all the time; do your feet stink? Use our client’s foot cream and the stench will disappear. Do you want longer eyelashes? Use our client’s brand of mascara and you will instantly have long, beautiful eyelashes.  The key to effective advertising is not only in the creativity, but in the solutions presented to the audience.  The question grabs the audience’s attention, but the solution provides a reason why the product or service is ahead of its competition.

In a recent branding campaign for one of our automotive clients, we made a point to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes. We asked ourselves, what do customers want out of their car buying experience? The answer we developed was: they want to feel important.  Some people might assume that price is the driving factor and yes, people do want the best price for their car, but every dealership highlights their low prices, so what is the one thing that can really set a car dealer apart? Their attention to customer service (see what I did there, posed a question).

In order to differentiate our client from the competition, we wanted customers to feel special and realize they would receive a VIP experience when purchasing a vehicle from this dealer.  In fact, customers become an exclusive member of their “club” after making a purchase!

The crux of this campaign relies on the customer needs- the moment the customer walks through the door, he/she is treated like royalty.  Additionally, the customer is regarded as an insider who receives exclusive deals, tips and tricks and other perks, all while getting the best prices and customer service possible.  Now, tell me that is not a customer service dream come true.

Another campaign that communicated what it’s like in the customer’s shoes was Lincoln’s MKZ campaign.  The commercials are recorded from the point of view of the customer, in an interview format.  The potential buyer interviews two separate cars; an MKZ and a competitor (such as Lexus). The customers are asking the two cars important questions like; what kind of suspension do you have?  This campaign is a great example of the customer being in control of his/her purchasing experience and decision making, and they love that.

Lincoln Commercial can be found here:

While it may be common sense, it truly does make a difference for advertisers to know their audience on behalf of clients. We learn time and time again that customers are not solely focused on price, but also the experience the product/service provides. Being aware of that can sometimes be a challenge to advertisers, but can also be an advantage. Hey, at EZG we’re all about solving problems.

If you have an advertising problem that needs to be solved, reach out to us at info@ebbenzallgroup.com


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One Response to “Why Understanding the Customer Leads to Effective Advertising”

  1. michellewiles Says:

    Interesting insight! I thought that Lincoln ad was refreshing as well

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