We’ve all been there – that moment when someone you barely know begins to share unsolicited, awkward details of their life. These kinds of experiences are enough to make you want to crawl out of your skin, right? For some reason, it appears that certain people have no filter; whatever shows up in their head, shows up in conversation.
I’m using this example, of course, as a backdrop for what I’ve observed in small business marketing and advertising – an unrestrained tendency to express way too much.
Years ago after leaving college, I took a position in sales. I recall one of my trainers telling me to shut up after not giving a prospective client a chance to respond to a question I’d asked. Though the advice was a bit abrasive, I got the point. There comes a time in communications where you can cross the line and say or talk too much - in essence, providing too much information.
Our company once worked with a small business that sought to create a radio ad campaign. In the commercial, the owner of the business insisted that we mention a number of selling points. Saying things such as, “We’ve got washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens… all with free delivery...” and on and on. We instructed him that such lists were counterintuitive. This particular advertiser was attempting to sling every reason to visit his store at the wall, in hopes that something would stick. This type of blabbermouth-communication will result in most people tuning your ads out – it’s just too much to digest at one time.
With that in mind, allow me to offer the following tips for managing marketing content:
Focus on Feelings
When marketing your product, stay away from a ton of stats, figures and data. Provide just enough logic to satisfy the cognitive part of the brain. From there, focus your communications on the emotional aspect of the customer. Know that 70% of all buying decisions are based on how people feel – not what they think.
If there are many technical aspects about the product you offer, be sure to break down the presentation into smaller, manageable segments. In other words, deal with one to three data points in a single marketing piece. For example, I saw an ad from Apple the other day that only detailed the benefits of a noise-cancelling feature on the iPhone 5. Though they could’ve certainly outlined many more features; however, their single-focus allowed them to tell a far more convincing story in the time allotted.
Pass the Ball
Most businesses would like to shoot and score every time they are given the marketing-ball – an ad goes out, a customer comes in. In reality, winning in the communications game sometimes requires a bit more discipline. You may have to pass the ball or settle for smaller victories until you get close enough to nab the ultimate prize. Choosing to view your marketing like this will result in you resisting the urge to cram everything you have into one conversation.
Walter Dailey is a marketing speaker, consultant, and creative director for DSV Media, a creative services firm specializing in Dental Marketing, Small Business Marketing and insight for small to mid-sized businesses. Ask your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org