Here is my point. You are wasting tons of money with pointless advertising and marketing.

Notice I did not ramble on and on before I got to the point. If I did, I would have lost you.

Advertising is very expensive. A cardinal rule in advertising, called the “7 times factor,” states that a potential customer must see your ad 7 times before they even notice it. If you add in the “ramble” factor, it will not matter how many times they see it. They will never buy because you did not capture their attention long enough to make your point.

Leading with your point, however, will not sell the product. You still must back up your point with compelling and convincing evidence to get their attention.

Here is a good example of how to waste advertising money:

I keep hearing a national radio commercial selling something. I have heard the spot at least a dozen times and I still do not know what they are selling. In the first 30 seconds, I would swear they are selling a cure for a bad golf swing. The commercial makes a compelling case for why a bad golfer should pay attention. But then it pivots to something entirely different. So now I am confused – a place you never want a prospective buyer to be. And because I am an expert marketeer, now I am irritated. I was hoping to hear about a golf fix and I got something else. Why would an advertiser spend $60K to leave its target audience confused and irritated?

I understand the tactic. Keep the prospect interested and engaged long enough to make the sale. But that does not work when the set-up has nothing to do with the product.

MyPillow does a great job in what I call the three C’s of effective marketing. Its message is clear: selling pillows. It does not confuse the prospect with anything else. Its message is convincing: It backs up its claims of better night sleep. Finally, it makes a compelling case for buying the product.

One final example of effective advertising. My company produces an award-winning rail safety product called ZoneGuard. When we advertise, we get straight to the point. “ZoneGuard Save Lives. Period.” We do not ramble about features and functionality.

The prospects we want are interested in saving lives. Getting straight to the point hooks that audience and motivates them to want to learn more. Only after that can we move to clear, convincing, and compelling reasons why they should buy.

Always remember, if you do not make your point in the first 7 seconds, you have just wasted $60K.


ABOUT STEVE BLUE: With more than 40 years of management, executive, consulting and speaking experience worldwide, Miller Ingenuity CEO Steve Blue ( is a leading mid-market CEO and a globally-regarded business growth authority who has transformed companies into industry giants and enthralled audiences with his dynamic keynotes. He is the author of five books, including his latest “Metamorphosis: From Rust Belt To High Tech In A 21st Century World” and his best-seller “Mastering the Art of Success.” Follow Steve on Twitter @StevenLBlue.