I’ve watched a number pitches on Shark Tank (the TV show) to see the similarities of what we see on that show and how poorly most small businesses advertise their products and services.
If small businesses paid a little more attention to the pitches on Shark Tank and less time watching Super Bowl commercials, their advertising and marketing would go a lot further.
Most small businesses (and big brands, too) are often times only focused on the company and how great they are—and pretty nothing else.
Just watch a few BMW commercials.
They never get around to telling us about what the product or service will do for us and how they will benefit our lives.
The contestants on Shark Tank do just that
The contestants on Shark Tank are clear on what their product is… what their product does… and whom their product is for.
And that’s why they get a boost in their business after being on Shark Tank. This is known as the “Shark Tank Effect.”
What these contestants do (and what most brand advertising doesn’t do) is they tell their stories and how their product will benefit the user.
You don’t see these contestants on Shark Tank doing some kind of song and dance like some Super Bowl commercial. (Okay, there were a few—and they didn’t do too well).
If more small business owners took their cues from Shark Tank contestants, they would do a lot better in the marketplace. Unfortunately, these small businesses try too hard to be like the big brands that advertise during the Super Bowl.
It’s NOT about traffic or MORE eyeballs!
Small businesses are constantly saying, “I need more traffic!”
My answer is usually, “Yeah, because your advertising is so bad.”
But the reality is…
If these small businesses stopped following the big brands and started watching Shark Tank, they wouldn’t need MORE traffic.
The reason why Shark Tank contestants get a lift in their business (via the “Shark Tank Effect”) isn’t because 8 million people watch the show.
It’s because these contestants connect with the audience through the demonstration of their products and services.
This is how infomercials work
Infomercials do phenomenally well. Just ask QVC and Home Shopping Network (24-hour infomercial channels). They are multi-billion dollars businesses.
If the contestants had only purchased a 30-second spot on Shark Tank, they wouldn’t do nearly as well—even to that audience of 8 million people.
Yet that’s what most small business think they need—a bigger audience!
What they really need is good sales copy that tells their story and shows their audience WHY their products provide the benefits their audience needs.
Good sales copy puts the customer first
It’s amazing how bad some big brand advertising can be.
“Top of the Heap”?
What does that mean?
These ads usually lack information.
For example, I recently saw a two-page spread in Entrepreneur magazine with only 37 words on it. How could they possibly tell me all the benefits of the product AND answer any objections that I may have about using the product?
(Even the half-page ads that have more than several hundred words often get MORE of my attention—which means I’m more likely to remember them and use their business).
These two-page spread ads may get me to remember their product when I get around to buying something in their category…
But they won’t get me interested in the product while they have my attention reading their ad (in which they spent thousands of dollars on).
Here’s an illustration…
It’s a lot like being at a networking event and going around the room telling everyone your name a dozen times and walking off. They may remember your name, but they won’t be interested in you.
This, unfortunately, is how many small businesses learn about advertising.
They watch commercials on TV or see these large two-page spreads in magazines… and think that’s how they should advertise.
I’m not saying that they are taking out two-page ads (because they can’t afford it). What I’m saying is the same mentality goes into their half-page or quarter-page ads. They tell us how important they are and how long they’ve been in business and that’s it.
They should be learning from Shark Tank
They should watch the pitches and watch the reactions. And feel how they (the business owners watching) react.
This is why the businesses on Shark Tank have done so well.
Most of the products and services wouldn’t have found the same success if they just simply bought a 30-second spot on Shark Tank.
It’s not the size of the audience that counts (although that helps), it’s what you do with that audience that counts.
Small businesses should focus on their message rather than how many people they reach with their message. Yes, we all need a large audience to hear our message. But if our message is meaningless and no one can understand it, then it’s a lot of wasted time, money and effort.
So for all your small businesses and entrepreneurs out there, spend more time watching the Shark Tank contestants and their pitches, and less time watching meaningless and stupid Super Bowl commercials.
If you want to know more about how to do this, check out http://www.freshsalescopy.com
P.S. If any of the information here is wrong, please take it up with management at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ash Waechter is an advertising sales copywriter and an online marketing consultant for speakers, coaches and self-help authors. Ash works with his clients to develop, promote and sell information products. Would like to know more? Please visit Ash’s website at: http://freshsalescopy.com/