In a digital world, print media has the potential to be a tangible disruptor and a more personal interaction. Direct mail allows a broader range of sizes and formats than online media. When produced and placed well, signs are often the leading medium for obtaining auction buyers. Just because it’s more difficult to track them doesn’t mean they are necessarily less effective.
If we’re not adapting to buyer self-interest, then whose self-interest is guiding our advertising?
Unless we as the advertiser is also the one buying our services or assets, why should we expect that strategy to work?
If you’re living up to your mission, you don’t have to tell people. If you’re not consistently hitting those goals, why create expectations in the marketplace that you can’t meet? If, like many firms, you’re filling that part of the business plan outline with mushy cliches that give you a lot of leeway, what are you communicating with those vapid words?
The irony is that Bonhams showed more restraint for expensive items than we often do with much lesser lots. Maybe it’s not ironic, since most of us sell utilitarian items instead of luxury goods. Regardless, while it’s impractical for most auctioneers to put these principles in action to the degree Bonhams did, we can all move in these directions for advertising that competes in the marketplace—not just in the auction industry.
I’m not trying to make the case that auctioneers should use repurposed cardboard to promote their auctions and their businesses. It’s just that we would all benefit from more succinct, more candid, and more restrained advertising media.
No small business can afford this level of celebrity endorsement, but many use this marketing approach at a much smaller scale. Regardless of the number of zeroes in the deal, the same rules of engagement apply. These five celebrity criteria should be true, if you want endorsement deals to work for your brand.
“What is your competitive advantage? Why would someone hire you instead of your competition?”
The answer to those two sentences should be easy. You need that answer to determine what your brand is and what that brand’s ensuing message will be. You can and should be leading your presentations by addressing how you solve your clients’ problems. Soon after that promise, though, you’ll probably need to explain why your firm best solves those problems.