Twitter Updates

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    The Marketer's Dilemma

    I've been reading Luke Sullivan's Hey Whipple, Squeeze This ("A Guide to Creating Great Advertising"). In the second chapter, he comes to what I call the Marketeer's Dilemma: When you're writing an ad or any other marketing piece, you're writing something most people try to avoid.

    Eric Silver put it this way: "Advertising is what happens on TV when people go to the bathroom."

    Basically, if you're a business owner, you have to find a way to get your message out to people who would rather not be bothered. There are two main hurdles you have to get over if your ad or marketing piece is going to win gold:

    Hurdle #1: Indifference. People don't want to hear your message. They're not interested. That's all there is to it.

    Sullivan puts it like this:
    You are not writing a novel somebody pays money for. You are not writing a sitcom somebody enjoys watching. You are writing something most people try to avoid. This is the sad, indisputable truth at the bottom of our business. Nobody wants to see what you are about to put down on paper. People not only dislike advertising, they're becoming immune to most of it.
    Aside from the Super Bowl, when's the last time you looked forward to marketing of any kind? And even then it wasn't to be impressed with a product, but with the ad's entertainment value. Pins pop balloons and ads bore customers. Point made.

    Hurdle #2: Anger. Think of it, ads and marketing is what tries to distract you when you're trying to enjoy something else. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a magazine I'm interested in before I throw it back down on the table because it's so crammed with advertising. Same with TV. No wonder TiVos are so popular. They cut down on heart attacks. Again, Sullivan:
    People don't want to see your stinkin' ad. Your ad is the comedian who comes on stage before a Rolling Stones concert. The audience is drunk and they're angry and they came to see the Stones. And now a comedian has the microphone. You had better be great.
    How to overcome these hurdles? Stay tuned.

    No comments: