Russel Howcroft, advertising executive and current executive general manager for Network 10, knows a thing or two about advertising. Here’s what he has to say on the topic of effective advertising.
“The majority of clients are afraid to stand out in the marketplace,” according to Mr Howcroft. “You have to want to stand out, otherwise you will not be successful.”
He says it’s important to learn from the best. If someone is doing something that has worked brilliantly why figure it out yourself? This also applies to aged care. “Look at who’s doing it the best and copy that.”
In advertising “there is no such thing as a bad idea”, Mr Howcroft says. In fact, “it’s vital to be able to put ideas out there”.
“Ideas have no value. It only has value once it’s made into something. Someone has to invest in an idea first.”
Find your point of difference and focus on that, is Mr Howcroft’s advice. “Get yourself a writer. Project yourself in a high interest manor, it will make a huge difference to your business.”
Or add art to your advertising. “Art is commercial, art has value, it makes people feel better. Get an artist involved in what you do and it will pay off,” according to Mr Howcroft.
Similarly architecture can be used to differentiate. “Architecture is an ad, look at the Sydney Opera House.
“Add creativity to your advertising. It will do your business a great service,” Mr Howcroft says.
According to the Network 10 executive, governments are lazy with their advertising. “Governments need to use advertising to promote what they are doing. How they spend their money and how they communicate to the public what they’re doing. Advertising plays a massive role in society,” he says.
But why should aged care providers advertise when there are long waiting lists of people looking for placement? “Because of the importance of building your brand,” Mr Howcroft says.
And what about all the negative stories in the media on aged care? Mr Howcroft’s advice is to respond with good news stories. “The media is not interested when things are going well, only negative story will be remembered. That’s where advertising comes in. “
What are Mr Howcroft’s thoughts on an effective advert for aged care? He would focus on the number 1 worry people have. “They feel scared and unsecure about going into aged care? Highlight their concerns. Sell the fear and then resolve it.“
Russel Howcroft was one of the speakers at the Aged Care Leaders Symposium in Melbourne last month.