This question popped into my head after I stumbled across a Slideshare presentation by Jason Falls called The Marketing of Un-Marketing. Even though it’s from a couple of years ago, I think it brings up some points that are still very valid today…
Such a large portion of the marketing community is talking about how today’s consumer wants communication with a brand to be personalized and relevant to them. Consumers want to be engaged (yeah, I threw that buzzword out there). Consumers want to see compelling content directed toward them as an individual.
So what are the three biggest obstacles holding marketers back from achieving that desired one-to-one connection?
1. Marketers think like marketers
Stop it. Did you forget that we’re all consumers? Next time you sit down to develop a marketing campaign just think of how you’d want to be marketed to as the consumer, or really, just as a person (since “consumers” is really just a fancy marketing way of saying “people”…isn’t it?).
2. Marketers speak like marketers
Marketing professionals tend to get way too caught up in marketing-speak. Unfortunately, your average consumer isn’t interested in high-level, fluffy language. It’s confusing and abstract. Instead of defaulting to the “marketing way” of describing something, ask yourself: “How would I explain this to my family/friends in casual conversation?” Chances are your audience would prefer that explanation too.
3. Marketers act like marketers
Almost everything marketers do (not just professionally) revolves around marketing. Why we like something, what we share via social media, the articles we read, the links we click on, etc. can be tied back to marketing. But remember: not everyone likes this stuff.
Most people don’t eat, drink and breathe in marketing (especially not from the strategic point of view), so they aren’t looking at your campaign thinking, “This messaging is great! I’m very captivated by this call to action.” Or, “I don’t think I’m the target audience for this one.”
It’s more like, “Does this help me get what I need?”… “Is this the right product for me?”… “Will this solve my problem?”
Try to keep it simple and to the point—that’s what will end up resonating with people the most.
Bottom line: If you want to truly connect with a consumer on an individual level, then start considering things from the consumer point of view instead of the marketer point of view.
(Note: I said “we” in this post because I think PR falls under the marketing umbrella. Guilty as charged.)