Institutional Advertising Versus Call To Action Marketing

A lot of people ask me what the difference is between institutional advertising and call to action marketing. Simply put, institutional advertising is brand building and is only recommended when you have MILLIONS or BILLIONS in your marketing budget.

Call to action marketing I don’t even call it advertising because it’s unilaterally focused on getting suspects to convert into prospects (take an action to show their interest in your product/service/offer) or prospects into clients (give you their money).

A friend of mine, Andrew Powell of Montreal, Canada asked me this outstanding question with the added twist that his company, Bogdon & Gross Furniture has been building furniture for over 80 years, using the tagline “Handcrafting your dreams since 1927” and the e-mail signature “Canadian manufacturer of solid, hardwood furniture and supplier of Koosh ® mattresses – the world’s first high resiliency, soy-based foam Mattress.”

So here is the short version of the answer – something I cover at our Exponential Business Building and Internet Marketing Bootcamps

First of all, no one thinks furniture equates to dreams so saying “Handcrafting your dreams since 1927” is well a very poor slogan.

Better ones could be

“Handcrafting furniture since 1927 that still looks great today.”
“Handcrafting furniture since 1927 that’s been passed on to today’s generation.”
“Handcrafting furniture since 1927 that will last (almost) forever.”

“Handcrafting hardwood furniture since 1927 that lasts a lifetime.”
“Handcrafting furniture since 1927 that gets handed across multiple generations.”

Equating longevity with VALUE makes sense to people – associating with dreams is a lost opportunity to connect with an emotion that is related to the purchase and ownership of the product.

Creating a Unique Selling Proposition or USP is the ultimate ‘slogan’ that gets people to WANT to buy your product or service, but that’ beyond today’s blog post.

The only other point I wanted to make is that when you are preeminent – in business for 80+ years, etc. you need to make sure you use it – but you must also create a call to action – direct them to do something in the ‘ad’, brochure or e-mail.

Sometimes this message is within the USP, but more often than not, these are two separate communications or messages within the brochure, e-mail or advertisement.

The ideal is a reinforcing slogan or tagline that work well together with a KILLER HEADLINE.

That’s when it all comes together…

The question I have I would ask is: “Is the name gross pronounced GROSS as in disgusting or GROSS as in GRASS?”

Unfortunately if it’s the former it’s something that works against you – UNLESS you twist it with a slogan like Smucker’s did…

“With a name like Smucker’s – it’s got to be good.”

If you ignore it, worry – because everyone else isn’t ignoring it.

It doesn’t matter what YOU think – it’s what others think and more importantly react to consciously and subliminally.

One way to determine if it’s important is… If you would NEVER pick that name, then it’s not good.

Since it’s an established brand (I don’t know that it actually is) you could start to shift the branding to Bogdon & Co or B&G instead of Bogdon & Gross – I noticed on your website BG Furniture – that’s a start to the process.

Don’t get me wrong – the founders names must still be used and leveraged – in the history section of the site, but probably not as the primary brand name…

A call to action is to get the reader to do SOMETHING – download a document or in your case walk into the store…

The crafting of a headline, slogan, USP and Call To Action are the components of Exponential Marketing – like an orchestra, when well coordinated, the harmony creates a flow of cash into your bank account – when disjointed and incoherent, it becomes a cacophony of confusion and substantially lower sales.

A call to action might be to get website visitors to vote on whether or not you should change your brand/name…

That would be quite revealing – of course you must judge on RESULTS – SALES not just opinions…

But that’s a discussion for another day!

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