The Big Idea for an advertising campaign comes from your product’s USP (unique selling proposition). If the USP is strong, the Big Idea will be strong too.

The Big Promise comes from the Big Idea. If the Big Idea is the right kind of Big Idea, it will have a Big Promise contained within it.

Your specific marketing scheme should be based on that Big Promise. If the Big Promise is big enough, you won’t have any trouble coming up with dozens of claims that will excite your potential customers and persuade them to buy your product.

Here’s a checklist to walk yourself through the process:

  • Make a list of every feature of your product that you can think of.
  • Make a separate list of every possible benefit those features can provide.
  • Identify a rising trend in your market – a trend that is just beginning.
  • Ask yourself: “Which of my product benefits could tie into that trend?”
  • Identify those benefits as potential USPs.
  • By talking to experienced industry professionals and interviewing potential customers, find out which of your potential USPs are the strongest.
  • For each of those strong USPs, create a Big Idea.
  • For each of those Big Ideas, create one or several headlines that express a Big Promise.
  • Working with a copywriter, make a list of claims for your product, including proof of those claims.
  • Get at least two versions of the advertisement written – each version expressing a different copy approach – and test them.
  • Take the version that works best, and make that the basis of all your sales and marketing efforts.

As you roll out an advertising campaign, make plans to start the process again so you can keep your selling ahead of the market.

[Ed. Note: The above was excerpted from Michael Masterson’s book, Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat, published with permission of John Wiley & Sons. The book has hit the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Business Week lists of business best-sellers.

Teaching you the best way to sell your products isn’t the only thing Michael does in Ready, Fire, Aim. He shows how veteran and rookie entrepreneurs alike can take their businesses to the next level. You’ll learn how to identify and solve the problems that crop up during each stage of a company’s growth… and how to take advantage of profit opportunities along the way. Order your copy of Ready, Fire, Aim now.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.

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