From the neon billboards of the Las Vegas strip to the teenager dressed like Lady Liberty spinning a giant cardboard arrow advertising 50% off at the local pawn shop, everywhere you turn marketers are fighting for your attention.
Targeted ads stalking you on Facebook because you once did a Google search for a new pair of Crocs; text “deals” sent to your smartphone in the middle of the night that induce panic attacks because you think it’s someone calling to ask for bail money; so many email promotions that you need a secretary to keep track of; and infomercials that amazingly still star none other than Gorge Foreman himself, all fighting to get into that itty bitty space in your brain that still has enough room left to absorb what the advertiser wants you to remember.
It has become a bit overwhelming, hasn’t it?
Do you ever wonder how much time we waste each day just filtering through all of the information we are bombarded with? It’s a wonder we can even keep our cars on the roads with all the distractions in front of our eyes and in our ears.
I once saw a sign at a busy intersection that warned drivers about the dangers of texting and driving. The sign was written in small font, just large enough to read if you squinted hard into the sunlight. I imagine that texting and driving is probably safer than trying to read the message the local police force was trying to deliver.
The fact is, whether from business advertisements or even in the form of public safety messages, marketing is all around us. It’s ingrained into every aspect of our daily lives.
So how do you make your message stand out? How do you keep from getting lost in the clutter?
To start, simply follow the most important rule in marketing… focus on your customer! Put yourself in his or her shoes. What would you want to hear? Why would you want to use your product or service?
How can you improve the life of your customer?
Then make sure your message delivers all of the following:
1. Honesty: Be truthful about what you have to offer, and never promise anything you can’t deliver. In other words, eliminate the fine print!
2. Value: Give your audience something they can use and/or learn from. Provide value in everything you post, blog, Tweet, or say. This could include DIY videos, informative articles, podcasts, or just free advice to customers that call or email with questions.
3. Communication: Successful social media campaigns must engage your audience. Don’t just post clever memes and expect that good things will happen. Your customers are human beings, not digital avatars. If a customer asks a question online, answer it. Thank them for their reviews. Let them know that they are important to you! And this goes beyond social media. Make sure to respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner as well. In today’s digital age, customer service is marketing. Everything you do or say is subject to critique in the form of a customer’s online review!
4. Originality: Do something different. That itty bitty space in your customer’s brain wants to hear or see something totally unique. The same old marketing approach is boring. Don’t be afraid to buck the trend and try something new.
5. Personality: Tell your story, and be transparent in the process. Letting your customers know who you are goes a long way in earning their trust.
Follow these simple rules and your message will not only be heard, it will be appreciated. Remember, a million people may click on a viral video of a kitten dressed as a bunny rabbit eating a carrot, but how many of those viewers will become repeat customers you can count on?