You're a marketer for your brand.
You're also a consumer of other brands.
That means you're fully equipped to think about your marketing from a consumer viewpoint.
It will take some discipline and outside help to see it from a different perspective; however, when you learn to step back and really look at your marketing strategy and advertising campaigns, you'll gain a better understanding of why your targets are unsubscribing, blocking your ads and even using your campaign as a reason to swear off your brand for the rest of their life.
And it's not just you.
Advertising, as a culture, has grown more and more intrusive. It's on television and radio, of course. It's also in on websites, in internet searches, on our favourite apps and even in free gifts that claim to have 'no strings attached.'
So, even if your marketing strategy is one based on value and genuine service, it's more likely than ever to fall victim to fed-up consumers. In fact, the use of third-party ad blocking services increased by 30% last year.
I think it's fair to say that consumers, including your ideal customers, are feeling bombarded and need a break.
So how are you supposed to get through? How can you deliver your message to the people who need it most?
You're going to have to get creative. And you're going to have to defy their definition of nuisance. It's going to take some work; however, commit to a plan and carry it through, and your message will be landing, and sticking, far more effectively than your competition's.
A Marketing Strategy for the Overwhelmed Consumer
If you've ever been frustrated with a situation (and who hasn't?), think back to how you behaved once your tolerance finally broke. Did you swear off just the person or the thing that was bothering you? Or did you expand that ban to include everything that reminded you of that person or thing?
Here are a few examples to clarify:
- If you grew tired of gaining weight, did you swear off cheesecake alone, or all desserts?
- If you found yourself frustrated with the dating scene, did you swear off all candidates with blond hair, or just decide to be alone for a while?
- And if your budget was stretched too thin, did you cut out Thursday dinners out, or make a commitment to cook at home all week?
Everyone is different, but for the most part, people choose to swear off all things associated with what's annoying them or causing them trouble.
The same goes for advertising. When a consumer reaches their breaking point with banner ads, pop-up ads, marketing emails, text message campaigns, etc., they will go on a kick and start unsubscribing and blocking as many ads as they can…with very few exceptions.
So what qualifies something as an exception?
And how do you become one of those exceptions?
Here's what has worked for me:
- Identify your Audience. Let them know, within the first fraction of a second, that your ad is directed at them. You've got to get their attention the moment they lay eyes on your ad; otherwise you've lost them. In order to accomplish that, think about the problem they have (that you can solve). What's the one word, the one image, the one colour…that reminds them of that problem and how badly they need a solution? No matter if your ad is video, text, audio…be sure to get down to business right away. Few things are more important than grabbing the right person's attention before they have time to click on that X.
- Avoid sales speak. As advertisers gain more technologically advanced methods for making their ways into the lives of their target audience members, those same audience members are getting more technologically advanced with blocking them. It's a war of the minds, really. Marketing specialists are working to outsmart consumers, whilst consumers are determined to prove they can outsmart salespeople. And guess what? Your brand and its marketing strategy are embroiled in this battle. One way to get past their bullsh*t detectors is to stop using phrases like For A Limited Time and New And Improved. Consumers have been conditioned to believe that when they hear sales speak and openers to sales pitches, that there's a scam on the other end. So, even if your product is only available for limited time, or if it truly has been improved, find a new way to express that; a way that will mirror the language and struggles of your ideal customer, so it sounds like something that would come from their own mouth.
- Address their misgivings. If you want to gain the favour of your ideal customers, one of the best ways to accomplish that is to acknowledge the fact that they're fed up, and then assure them that you're aiming to cut the crap and do something different than they've grown accustomed to. Make reference to what's been bothering them. Mirror their feelings. Let them know that you're one of them—with the knowledge and the experience to solve their problem.
You can have the best product, the best customer service, the best bank of knowledge in your industry…and yet, if your advertising isn't doing everything it can to break through consumers' marketing frustrations, your brand can't take seed or grow.
There are lots of other things you can do to make it more likely that your advertising will get through. You've got to think differently than the average marketer and you've got to gain the trust of your ideal customer.
The How to Build a Brand website has loads of resources for anyone wanting to build a brand or write a marketing strategy. Simply click here to browse our programmes and free branding guides…and don't forget to email [email protected] for information on how to join the Brand Builders Club.