Last week I was driving on a major interstate highway in my city. I noticed a new billboard. It caught my attention because it was new and because it was not very effective.
The top sentence on the billboard said this:
“ShredRight. Our name says it all.”
But it didn’t say it all. It just said their name.
The problem is, they think their name says it all. In their eyes, from their perspective, their name does say it all. Except, they’re not advertising to themselves. Or, they shouldn’t be.
For the average person driving past that sign (and there are probably 100,000 people every day who do), their name doesn’t say anything, except, their name.
So, this small company (I know they’re small because I know their industry very well) is paying for a billboard in one of the highest traffic locations in the Minneapolis St.Paul metro area, and their sign says something 99.9% of the people who see it have no idea what it means. They’re paying for a lot of eyeballs that never get the message they want to be sending.
If I was knowledgeable about their service and looking for someone to provide that service, then their sign might be meaningful to me, in a small way. In that case all it tells me is they are a company with the word “shred” in their name. So, it’s possible their services involve shredding of some kind. Beyond that, it says nothing.
However, because document shredding is still an emerging service, the odds are most people know little about it. Nor do they care.
What people care about are the benefits of shredding their documents.
“Prevent identity theft.”
“Keep your customer data secure.”
“Exceed all legal requirements for data destruction in your industry.”
When you’re trying to sell a service most people are unfamiliar with, you need to sell benefits. You need to help them understand the positive outcomes they can enjoy by using your service. Your job at this point is to educate them.
You don’t sell a nascent service or product by simply saying what it is (“shredding”) and assuming people will line up at your website.
Show them all the good things you’ll do for them. Tell them how your service will help them accomplish their goals. That’s your first step in marketing a service like this to a broad audience unfamiliar with it. That’s how you get them interested in learning more about what you can do for them.