Lying in bed on Friday morning I was struck by a momentus marketing insight. I was listening to the BBC’s Today programme. It was one of those short pieces where the ageing presenters try to show that they can be “fun”. They were reporting on the phenomenon of viral marketing (it takes the Today programme a few years to catch on to new stuff). They were interviewing Matt Golding of Rubber Republic. He observed:
“There are a lot of people out there that are failing to realise that you actually have to give something; just trying to communicate a really strong message, get a lot of points across about their brand … its about buying time with people and not abusing that”
How often do we fail to think about that when preparing our marketing material? What a great way to think about it; we have to buy the time of the people we want to read our material and we have to do that by giving them something in return, then we have to avoid abusing that fair exchange.
Instead of that we tend to concentrate on putting across our “USPs” or our “key advantages”, we try to pitch our brand (that our customers are not very interested in). Maybe we are trying to actually service our customers’ needs by presenting the benefits of our product to them. But, before any of that, why should they bother to pick it up and read it in the first place?
So what can we offer to secure our side of the bargain? Well first and foremost with good design. Something that will attract and please the eye. Something I want to hold. Something I would be proud to share. Does your new product brochure pass that test?
Next; something which is enjoyable to read. Language which offers no resistance. Makes its sense plain. Tells me something I want to know. Please. After all I’ve just given you 30 seconds of my life by picking it up and starting to read it, what are you giving me in return?
I’m jaded by messaging and brands, so give me somethign fresh that will excite me. I bet you think your product is innovative. So you demonstrate what an innovative organisation you are in all your marketing, right?
Ho hum, I thought so.