As I reckoned in a recent post, the expense of both advertising campaigns’ production and media costs means marketers spend inordinate amounts of time obsessing about every last detail. They interminably interrogate what they themselves and consumers perceive about their product. How is its texture uniquely satisfying? Which technological components in its design give it a 2.4% advantage? How can we confirm its provenance and eco-credentials?
Forgive me, but I do genuinely reckon that marketing is about people. So indulge me for a moment and picture the scene…
The teenage me is hunched over my desk late in the evening, desk lamp bright on the page as I pore over my best attributes and features. I’m bright and well-educated. I play an instrument. In the future I will appreciates fine food and wine, and become a pretty decent cook. I’m already well-house-trained, quite good at ironing and washing-up, and I always puts the seat down.
Then, watch me as I go to a party, meeting people I don’t really know, but they’re friends of friends, so they can’t be all bad. And I try to cram as many of these key features and messages into my conversation, with a spirited, optimistic, fun-loving and still down-to-earth tone of voice. This will help me get the girl, right?
Yikes. Wouldn’t it be better to listen (even just a little bit)? Wait to see what I can say that might be relevant or interesting to the people I’m meeting? What do they want from me? What do we have in common? Marketers wouldn’t behave like this in their own lives, so what is it about the corporate mentality that makes us lose our humanity?
So maybe, once in a while, amongst all the other immersive brand workshops, maybe marketing teams should take time out. Pretend you’re not allowed to advertise your brand. Force yourself to think about how you prove your worth and value to people. Consider what role you truly play in people’s lives. When do they actually think about you?
NOW… what will you do differently?