The Art of Attraction and Transaction. Great advertising is about these two things. Period.

Yin YangIn the world of marketing, at any given moment, you’re either trying to attract people to a brand, or trying to get them to transact, and purchase the brand. There is nothing else. All the brilliance of art and copy, all the amazing creative technology exploding around us is about driving these two things. That’s it. That’s all there is.

At this exact minute, how many people are in the market, and actively looking to buy your product or service? I’ll bet it’s somewhere between 1% and 10%, depending on the type of product or service you offer. If you sell something that is not used daily, and/or is durable, it’s probably 1%. If you sell something that’s used daily and/or is disposable, probably closer to 10%. If you sell tires, 1%. If you sell toothpaste, 10%.

Create an attraction
Unless you plan on ignoring the other 90-99% of consumers, you must create advertising that draws people to the brand, even when they don’t need it. It must create an undeniable attraction to be part of the action, and make them want the brand, or at least remember the brand when they need it in the future.

To create an attraction, the advertising must do more than simply list the benefits of the brand. That may work for the small percentage interested now, but the larger percentage will blow it off in a second. The message must be true to the product or service, but break the confines of the package or the walls of the store to capture something with larger life context that still pertains to the product, but broadens the appeal of the communication beyond ONLY the product. It must engage them, and matter to them now, even when they do not need the brand. From there, it must draw them in with some intriguing creative: an arresting visual that stops people in their tracks, something hilarious they want to pass on to others, something moving that connects with their soul, and causes them to comment, brilliant design they want to post, a clever turn of phrase they want to retweet.

Then attraction is patient. It doesn’t push for the sale right now. If that happens, great, and there should always be an opportunity for someone to transact, but its goal is to set a brand vision, to inspire, to entertain, to motivate, then somewhere down the road, because of the accumulated goodwill, to make the sale. It’s money in the bank.

Create a transaction
This is for the 1- 10% looking to buy right now. You better have the mechanisms in place to close the deal. This creative should shorten the distance between consideration and purchase. It should make it easier, faster, cheaper; and trigger transaction now.

To create a transaction you must be single-mindedly all about the product or service. They are here shopping for the brand at this very moment, don’t distract them with anything else but how to buy. Many times, transaction leans on creative technology to help make the sale by finding the location, delivering a discount, showing up on screen right when someone is considering that exact product or service. Transaction knows what button to push to drive the purchase. And it’s not afraid to ask for the sale.

Transaction is urgent. It wants the purchase now, and does everything it can to help get it immediately. It knows the ultimate goal of all advertising is to put money in the register.

Brands need the essential yin yang of attraction and transaction, not just one or the other. Create all the attraction you want, if no one transacts, who cares. Put all the transaction opportunities in front of them you want, but if you haven’t created an attraction, no one will pay attention. Think of all the ads you ignore each day…an astounding amount.

So look at all your marketing pieces, and ask yourself: is this helping me attract people, or transact people? It better be doing one, the other, or both.
Because the ultimate goal of every advertisement is a sale. The only debatable point is a sale now or a sale later.

The art of attraction and transaction. Everything else is distraction.

Rob Baiocco
CCO, The Baiocco And Maldari Connection



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