From February 2012

Shout Quietly

In the pursuit of qualified leads, marketers, when they’re not getting the response rates desired, are compelled to shout louder. To make bigger claims, so-called stronger offers and calls to action. Maybe inject a starburst or two. At the very least you’ll find one of these: !.

 

Yet still there’s no response. Why?

 

Because your customers are smart. They can smell your marketing – speak a a 1,000 pixels away. They see through your hollow claims and puffery. And ignore you. Because they know that once they fall for you flimsy claim, they’ll be disappointed. And even more jaded than the last time.

If it weren’t for the years they’ve been pounded with messages, you might have a chance. If it weren’t for the infinite number of channels they can go to, you might have a chance. It’s too easy to tune you out. And they know it. They have the power like never before.

 

When TV was born, advertising was new and shiny. The channels were few. Customers had to listen. It didn’t take long for ‘commercial’ to equate to bathroom break or time to make popcorn, but you didn’t have the clutter.

 

Now you have to work harder. Much harder. You have to make claims in plain, human language. Next generation, industry leading goodness doesn’t cut it.

No one wants to be sold.

The new buzzwords are join the conversation, engage and let’s have a relationship. Sounds warm and fuzzy – the right thing to do. But then again, customers don’t always want to have a relationship with you. They can’t have a relationship with every brand and service they purchase. Nor do they need one. Some are meant to be purchased and consumed.

 

I’m certainly not looking for a relationship with my olive oil of choice. Or my oil change service.

But a contractor? Or an accountant? Now that’s someone I want to get to know. And who I want to care about me. It’s tough to find a good one. Horror stories abound of contractors gone bad. Just ask Mike.

 

You still need to get the word out about what it is you do. You still need to confidently state why you’re the one people should choose. But it’s time for a much different approach. Forget SPAMMING and Screaming.

 

It’s time to shout quietly. What? A twist on the old show, don’t tell approach. Make every word count. Make your typography sing with  fine craftsmanship. Show that you care. As if you pasted each pixel on the page just so. Use images that not everyone else is using. How often do you see the same photos from iStockphoto used in a presentation? Or an ad? A lot. In fact, pay attention to the number of downloads on an image you’re thinking about. If it’s a lot, maybe you should find another one.

 

Keep it fresh. You know how a bowl of fresh fruit and fresh flowers make a room seem cleaner and shinier? Same goes with your marketing. We respond to what’s different.

 

When you pay attention to the craft – people notice. There’s a LOT of really GOOD stuff out there. The smallest details matter. Invest in them. Sweat them.  It’s the way you can shout quietly and still be heard. In fact you’ll be heard even more . . .