Why do people hate ads, billboards, cold calls, and salesmen? Marketing guru Seth Godin gave us a clue as to why in his seminal book, Permission Marketing. He explains that marketers interrupt what we were doing to offer us what they’re selling. However, they would do better to get our permission to follow up with something “anticipated, personal, and relevant”.
If we dig deeper, we’ll notice that what is off-putting about much of marketing isn’t simply that it interrupts us; it’s the fact that the message is a piece of clutter. It is an irrelevant distraction to our lives. One of my favorite lines from the movie Hitch is “No woman wakes up saying ‘God, I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today!’”. If someone interrupts you with just the right thing, the interruption is welcome.
What we really want is more relevance and less clutter. Any ad that helps make life better creates a pleasant experience. Consequently, it also sells your product more effectively. So, how do you make sure that your message is relevant and not clutter?
How to Trim The Marketing Clutter
Cut Out Volume Based Approaches to Marketing
The first thing you can do is cut out any volume-based approaches from your marketing. Just because the advertising that you’re doing is creating enough money to pay for itself doesn’t mean that you should be doing it. You will get better results and frustrate fewer people if you do the work upfront to figure out how to target a smaller more relevant group.
Get Back to Your Purpose
When in marketing mode, it’s easy to focus on how to increase numbers and forget about what made your business helpful to people in the first place. Getting back to your purpose will help you properly understand everything from who to focus on to how to get their attention. Start by writing your purpose as a statement. “I serve x-people by doing y-service in z-way.” The more specific you get, the more clutter you’ll cut. From there, you can clarify ideas about how to target the people who need your service.
Once you’re ready to try a better marketing approach, make sure it’s done professionally. There’s nothing worse than a business-customer match made in heaven that is prevented by bad design or a poor headline. Properly invest in your marketing and sweep them off their feet!
What if one day people look forward to ads instead of dreading them? It’s only possible with relevant and effective marketing from people like you. Kill the clutter – offer something people want, and you’ll reap the rewards.