Unless you’ve spent your years as a business owner hiding under a blanket, you’ve heard all the statistics about how many marketing messages the average person is bombarded with every day. And you’ve heard how important it is for your message to cut through that clutter.
Well, a marketer I know out in California has a unique way of demonstrating that advice when she presents marketing workshops. She walks across a bed of nails! As she stops and balances midway through her “walk,” she reminds her workshop participants that when their messages are packed with lists of bullet points, the messages look and sound just like every other message out there. And just as she can walk across a bed of crowded, evenly spaced nails without any single nail piercing her, messages that don’t stand out can’t penetrate their intended audience either. In fact, she notes, some people can even sleep on a bed of nails – and sleep is the last thing you want your audience to do when you’re trying to communicate with them.
Then she pulls out a board with a single nail in it – and demonstrates how sharp a point a message can make when it stands out on its own.
OK, now it’s time for a quick exercise: What’s your company’s”sleep number”? Be honest. If it’s a bit too soft and comfy, you might be putting your audience to sleep. What can you say or do differently to wake them up and get them to notice you? What out-of-the-ordinary, unexpected thing can you do, say or deliver that would penetrate?
Remember, your message isn’t all about your advertising either. How do you interact with your customers? What are your turnaround times? Do you consistently maintain – or even enhance – quality? All of these are also messages that you send.
This may seem like really basic advice, but figuring out how to cut through all the blah, blah, blah to stay connected with prospects and customers – especially during an economic downturn – will determine your success (and whether you can sleep at night!).
By the way, the name of Terri’s marketing company? Blah Blah Blah.