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What I’ve been teaching entrepreneurs after working 10 years in advertising…

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Advertising is constant reality in our lives. And I am not just talking about tv ads, billboards or banners. I am talking about our lives, in what we do, say or think.  

Very shortly, advertising is the art of persuasion.

Apparently there is not much more to say about it in terms of definition. However, in a few lines, I will add up the missing ingredients.

1.Start by asking yourself

ask yourself

In what situations do you persuade someone into something? Is it something exclusively professional? Do I have to work in advertising to do advertising?

When you invite your friends for a dinner next week at your place, aren’t you doing some sort of persuasion? Some sort of advertising?

This is the genesis of advertising. And this is what we miss most of the times. The simplicity of it.

We see advertising as a very complex thing, where we need to create “fantasy” to deceive someone into something. We see it in form of videos, banners, merchandising, brochures and so much more. While those are just consequences of a strategy.

These are all forms of advertising that exist to reach a higher audience, but the principles should remain the same.

Simplicity, when sharing a message, is greatly important. Well, simplicity and relevancy. These are the most important things when communicating something to your market.

If you want to invite your friends for that dinner, you wouldn’t create a video campaign, right? But if you do, you’ll target it directly to your friends (your target audience); using the best persuasive strategies (relevant content); and you’ll know exactly what to ask from them .

This leads me exactly to what my major learning was…



In advertising, you have two sides of the communication.

The first one is what you say, what you communicate, how you persuade someone else. Let’s call it “Stimulus”.

The other one, is the reaction. Let’s keep it as “Reaction”.

Mixing the two gives us that…

Advertising is the persuasive art of creating the right “Stimulus” for the needed “Reaction”.

This is what advertising is all about. Plain and simple.

Read that sentence again. Tweet it, write it on the wall. Do whatever you need to do but do not forget that sentence ever.

Let me repeat it again.

Advertising is the persuasive art of creating the right “Stimulus” for the needed “Reaction”.

This is hugely important for our projects, our startups, our businesses, our CPC ads, our Facebook Ads. In fact, this is hugely important in our lives.


3.Common mistake.


We commonly mistake advertising with the need to tell people what they should do. Instead, we need to focus is promoting the right stimulus to get people to react the way we want, ultimately, to buy what we have to sell.

So, what would it be a great stimulus for that “buy now” sign?

Well, it could be a lot of things, depending on what you’re doing, but let me give you two simple examples of how the right stimulus can promote the reaction we want.

“Limited stock available. Buy Now!” “Price increase at the end of the month. Get is now!”

In both cases you’re telling people why they should buy now. The strength is in the stimulus. The last bit is as the echo of our minds responding to the stimulus. To be honest, you don’t even need the “Buy now” at the end because the stimulus says it all.

It urges for reaction/ action. And this is what we want.

4.The method

the method

First you should focus in identifying how you want people to react. Is it to visit your website? To visit your store? Leave the email? Click on the ad? Buy a product? Pick one single reaction. Don’t expect people to do it all at once.

After you have that perfectly identified, you need to figure out which will be be the right stimulus to get them doing what you want them to do. Which will be the action trigger to get your audience react as you want them to react?

For instance, a sales funnel is simply a sequence of the right stimulus to get people reacting and moving from one stage to the next in that funnel.

If you can do this, you’re doing brilliant advertising. Brilliant art of persuasion.

And, ultimately, that is what you want.

5.The exercise


Re-visit all the ads you’ve created so far, check also some ads created by someone else in your industry and outside your industry. It can be print ads, CPC, Facebook ads, billboards, etc. Be broad in your analysis.

For all of them, try to identify which is the “stimulus” in the communication, if there is one, and the expected reaction. This is incredibly interesting to understand better what triggers some types of actions.

One thing that I do is that I compile all the ideas I find to be very interesting in one folder in my computer. I am constantly taking print screens and holding them in that folder to be able to re-visit them at any time and put my creativity to work.

Transform this into an habit. You’ll respond better and faster in the future, when the need to communicate and advertise arises.


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