Benefit Stringing.


I often rant about advertising that is 90 percent claim, 10 percent proof…a bad ratio. But today I’m going to chat about ads that make a claim but don’t take time to explain the benefit.  They just jump on to the next claim – stringing benefits.

Mathnasium is a national chain of math tutors. I heard a billboard of theirs yesterday on National Public Radio. Billboards are hard because they are only 15 seconds long. They tend to fall prey to benefit stringing.

In the Mathnasium billboard they claimed “customized learning plans,” then jumped to something else. Having worked on a brand plan for a math tutoring organization, I know how textured customized learning plans can be. If Mathnasium were smart marketers and wanted to get meaningful attention of parents, they could have used the full 15 seconds on the topic. Instead, they tried to jam as much shallow information into the billboard as they could. And it rendered a “we’re here” ad — nothing more than name recognition and contact info.

If you are trying to convince parents your math tutoring firm is better than others, you need to educate them.  Customized learning plans unexplained are about as differentiating as “qualified math tutors.”

The best advertising and the best brand plans understand education is the key to preference not sales copy by the pound.