In Part 2 of this blog series, we’re exploring the second most common marketing mistake that causes campaigns to fail. We’ll also look at how to avoid this mistake, and check out some great real-world examples of companies getting it right. To get the most out of your ad spend, it’s crucial to avoid Mistake #2: Making your ad message all about “Me” (the business owner), instead of the customer.

How can a business get their ad message wrong? By forgetting to talk to “you,” the customer.

Most business owners make the mistake of talking about themselves in an effort to convert the customer.  The problem is that me-centered messages only deliver information- they don’t create a connection.

Imagine if you hobbled in to a doctor’s office with acute back pain, and all the doctor wanted to talk to you about were his qualifications, his accolades, his state-of-the-art equipment. You’d likely think to yourself, “So what? Tell me if you can fix my back- that’s what I want!”

Great ad copy speaks straight to the customer’s needs or problem. It consistently phrases the ad message in terms of YOU (the customer).



Okay, maybe “mirrors into windows” is a bit of a cheesy metaphor… but it really is the key to crafting an effective ad message that connects with customers! To write great ad copy, stop looking inwards at the company, and put your focus outwards, on the customer.

When you clearly speak to your customer’s needs and desires, you’re able to write the kind of ad copy that makes a customer feel like you’re inside their brain. That kind of messaging has the power to create the first spark of trust, and makes the customer want to know you more.


The “So What?” Test


How can we phrase our ad messages in a YOU-centered way? I like to use the “So What” test.  Here’s how it works:

Let’s say your business sells online training courses. Your ad copy could say:


“All of our courses are available online.”   (Me-centered message)

This is true, and it’s a key selling point for your services. But if we want to craft ad copy that really connects, we have to look at that selling point and ask, “What does this mean for the customer?”

We have to imagine that when we say, “All of our courses are available online,”  the customer responds by saying, “So what?”

What’s in it for the customer? How does this solve their problem? The answer to the customer’s “So what?” question is the ad copy you should use:

“You can study from the comfort of your own home.” (You-centered message)

“You get to study on a schedule that fits your life.” (You-centered message)

NOW you’re speaking directly to the customer about their needs, and how your online course is the solution.  The customer wants to get new training, but they’re pressed for time, and don’t want yet another outside-of-the-home commitment.  This ad copy connects the dots between your service and the customer’s need for convenience, comfort, and a flexible schedule.


Let’s look at another example of a You-Centered ad message:

This company, Gwynnie Bee, has a monthly clothes subscription service.  But instead of focussing on their service, they talk about the customer’s experience. This ad answers the “So what?” question:

Gwynnie Bee: “We sell monthly clothes subscriptions.” (Me-centered message)

Customer: “So what?” 

Gwynnie Bee: “So that means, you get to have an unlimited wardrobe! You get to try new styles every month!” 

Customer: “I’m gonna have so much fun with this!” 

Gwynnie Bee: “Yup.” 


Here’s another great example of a You-Centered ad message:

This ad for Hubspot is offering a solution for better networking.  But instead of focussing on the details of their solution, Hubspot speaks directly to the reader in you-centered language. “No more nervous networking,” keeps the focus on the customer’s pain, and creates anticipation for how Hubspot could solve this pain.







Getting the most out of your ad spend means having an ad message that truly connects with your customer. How do you create that connection? By using YOU-centered language to put the focus firmly on the customer and keep it there!