I’m intrigued by the number of people who insist they don’t believe in marketing, that no-one takes any notice of it and that they don’t have time to engage with brands. Until … they have something they want to tell the world. Then, suddenly, marketing – specifically their marketing – is interesting, exciting and something they know will work once they reach people. “Everyone will want to hear.”
Still they query why they need a strategy. “Let’s just get on with it”.
The research. “I know my market and they know me.”
Then the time it requires. “I could have had this done by now.”
Then why they need to craft a message. “It’s obvious”.
Then whether the message is safe enough. “I’m not sure we should be saying that.”
Or too safe. “Let’s just shock them. I love to shock people.”
Then every word. “That’s not correct grammatically.”
And every image. “Are we covering all our bases do you think?”
Then the tone. “I think we need to be a bit more obvious.”
Then the cost. “Let’s downsize the roster and see whether it works. Then build it up from there. Maybe.”
By which time of course, their marketing is just like the marketing they claim that they themselves don’t believe in, that no-one takes any notice of and that people don’t have time for.
Your marketing isn’t about you. Or it shouldn’t be.
My view? If you think you can shift units of what you do without engaging people and having them commit to you as a brand, knock yourself out. Just don’t believe that, if you do decide to market, that somehow your marketing is magically exempt from how markets operate today because it happens to be about something that fascinates you. Frankly, that’s myopic.
And please don’t believe that marketing is about what you want to say. Because it’s not. It’s about crafting something that other people – the people you’re trying to reach – want to listen to, read, interact with. This is, after all, the connection economy.
Here’s my favourite thought about what it takes to be interesting today: Earn people’s time. Because if you haven’t made that commitment with your branding and your messaging, you are just talking to yourself in public. And who’s going to make time to listen to that?