Company Breakdowns - Cruises day 5 - design and strategy of the FB offer.

Company Breakdowns - Cruises day 5 - design and strategy of the FB offer.

This is a 5 part series, to jump to the different parts click below:

Part 1 -Disrupting the Cruise Industry

Part 2 -Finding the biggest opportunity

Part 3 -Deciding on the business model

Part 4 -Designing the offer and customer journey

Part 5 -Designing the Facebook Offer

There's 3 main components to any facebook ad.

First, you need to have a hook. By a hook, it has to be a show stopper. The importance of this cannot be understated. Most people, when scrolling through social media ads, are not looking to purchase cruise tickets, or book a vacation.

So what to do. How do we decide to find a hook? Unfortunately, there aren't any major frameworks or mental models to rely on that predictably and/or reliably provide a reason why ads could / could not work.

The next best thing is to think about what a hook represents. Hooks represent as anything that interrupts thinking.

What interrupts thinking? Anything that isn't logical and anything that resonates immediately.

So let's brainstorm. Below is a screenshot of a framework that I use to brainstorm on what potential hooks could be.

Any hook is likely composed of 4 main things

  1. A noun - some object
  2. A verb - some type of action the verb does
  3. An expectation - what we think would typically happen
  4. The reality - what actually happens

The combination of these 4 things could help in brainstorming what a hook could be. With this framework, all you have to do is find some nouns associated with cruise ships. Then from there, identify the different verbs and expectations/reality that could happen. After running through a few combinations, you can find 2-3 different hooks to experiment with.

Here's how I went about doing it.

I first googled a random picture of a cruise ship. Here's the picture I found:

Here are some (very quick) breakdowns of the different ideas and thoughts, given the different word generators

Now, most of these don't make sense. And they aren't supposed to. But the idea is that this helps guide the process so that you are going in the right direction.

The next stage is the offer. By the offer, I don't just mean what you are selling. I also mean, how and why you are selling this product, and why the specific person you are targeting needs to know about it.

This is arguably the most important part. While the hook is necessary, the offer is supreme.

On a very basic level, every offer to a potential customer has the following:

  • What you’ve got
  • What it’s going to do for them
  • What you’re looking for in return

Very easy. But don't be confused. The idea here isn't how much they should want the product. Don't think that you can influence if they are / aren't interested. All you can present is an honest, portrayal of the product, and if it solves a real problem, then it should bring in the customers.

Too often, we get caught up in how much our prospect should want what we’re feeding them. And then we get surprised when they respond like a toddler faced with a bowl full of broccoli ice cream.

Now how do you make it appealing though? How do you take an offer, and make it appealing to customers?

1. Make it beneficial to the customer

The most beneficial products are the products that fix things, rather than make things better. In other words, make sure to sell something aspirin and not kneepads.

For the purpose of our Cruise ship company, we aren't going to sell this as a relaxation mechanism to prevent stress.

We are going to position this as an escape from the stressful life they are living.

Rather than as simply a relaxing time with your partner, position it as the relationship getaway you need to reinvigorate your relationship.

2. Sell things that emotionally feel good

Generally speaking, the best offers are those that that trigger the specific emotions that are most likely to push people to purchase. These are very specific in nature (i.e not all emotions lead one to purchase), but they are the ones to focus on to drive the purchase.

Googling will likely lead you to many lists that show them, but largely, they fall in one of these 5 buckets

  • Curiosity
  • Vanity
  • Fear
  • Benevolence
  • Insecurity

You can remix any of these - but these are the major emotions that drive the purchase.

Let's try to make this happen for the Cruise ship company.

Curiosity: Don't you want to know what the ports of Portugal smell like?

Vanity: Enjoy the elite nature of our private cruise decks, built for those with the highest sensibilities.

Fear: In an era of uncertainty, nothing is safer than the slow, careful, methodical movement of a cruise ship company.

Benevolence:  Provide your partner with the getaway trip they've been waiting from you for.

Insecurity: Find the missing piece in your life onboard the Cruise Ship X.

3. Make it time bound

No offer should last forever. The customer should not be thinking to themselves "hmm, I'll get to this later"

People have very short attention spans. After all the hard work you've put in to bring them to the website, the last thing you want is

“Buy the cruise ship gold package for $2300" is a decent offer. But one that is easy to walk away from.
“Buy the cruise ship gold package for $2300, only available until Friday at midnight" is a great offer. Not so easy to walk away from

To recap, here are the things we want to include in our ad:

  1. Position the cruise ship as a solution to Joe's problems
  2. Frame the offer within one of the emotions listed above
  3. Add a time bound to the offer to ensure people take it up.