Attention Please

The most important thing a marketer can acquire is your attention.  It is truly the currency of marketing in the twenty-first century.

May I have your attention please? 

Regardless of the category, I can scream and yell at you all day long on TV, in print or online but if you are not interested, you will shut me out. Sorry you are interrupting my life and I’m not interested. When the phone rings at home and a telemarketer calls, my first thought is, “I don’t remember giving you permission to interrupt my life.”

So what is a marketer to do to help get the word out?

Ch Ch Changes: 

There are very few mass markets anymore. Instead, the world is carved up into millions of slices or niches.  Targets are very precise these days such as left-handed golfers, gluten intolerant cupcake eaters and soft cheese aficionados who don’t want artificial preservatives. In a B2B world, you may sell product or service to very specific audiences like accountants who work in government, companies that sell refrigeration equipment with more sustainable coolants or restaurants who demand smaller portion sized entrees to meet new market trends.

Respectfully, here are three ideas for marketing in the twenty-first century. 

SAMPLING: Give informative and interesting things away. When you begin a relationship giving a gift, people want more. If they value the gift, most people will come back and ask for more except this time they are interested and qualified buyers. If you are in a service business for an industry, how about giving away a free one hour audit in a very specific area. It is a chance to allow someone to sample your service as they would in the supermarket aisle if they tasted a new food product.

Borrow from the supermarket. Would you like a sample? 

WRITING OR USING PHOTOS: If you can write or take a picture, you can offer an insight to educate others. Imagine the coffee roaster who creates a blog that tells the stories of people who harvest beans and how you have created a community that goes beyond the supplier/customer relationship. These emotional stories and images, if genuine, help tell prospective customers what it is like to work with you and your company. Whether it’s a blog, Instagram or some other social media, telling emotional stories helps connects you to new people.  How about podcasting interviews with people in your industry? Create your own network like Gary Vaynerchuk did with Wine Library TV. Or, go old school and consider a small postcard campaign that delivers to a targeted audience something of interest that gets past the radar. You may have notice how little mail you get- it means that space is less crowded to share ideas. (don't try and sell- share news/info about what you do that is different and valuable)

Pick a story to tell. Share, don't exploit

DO FAVORS: I will never forget a person I met about 20 years ago who would always start every conversation with me by asking, “How can I help you today”.  He was always asking others how he could give something of value to others without looking for something in return. This is powerful stuff when you think about it and it’s a great way to connect with others.  What do you have of value for others that you can offer to them? Maybe you can help their college-aged child circulate a resume or maybe you can help out their non-profit at a walk to raise money. Maybe you can introduce a prospective customer to someone new of value to them. 

Give and don’t expect anything in the return. 

The amazing part is that the universe will bring that karma back to you. It really works. Put some positive energy out there and just trust that your investment will pay dividends in the future.

Helping Hands

So, now that I have your attention, how can I help you?

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