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Is Your Marketing Too Vanilla?

First , allow me to shed a little light on the definition of marketing. Marketing in its truest sense is getting the right people to know you, like you and trust you. It has little to do with actually selling your services. It has everything to do with your becoming visible, likeable and worth listening to.

If what you are doing now under the marketing umbrella isn’t working, or you’re just getting started, take a long look at what you’re trying to do. Is it exciting? Is it eye catching? Is it unique? If not, you’re campaign probably too bland to get anywhere. Bland in this case equals “vanilla.”

It used to be that advertising your business could get you more than enough customers. This is normally no longer the case. Look around you. There are advertisements EVERYWHERE. The noise has become unprecedented, with everybody trying to capture the attention of would-be clients.

There are commercials, print ads, billboards; your mind is overrun with images every day. And if you run the same old marketing campaign, you’re just going to blend in with everyone else. If you want to get business, you need to get noticed, which means you need to stand out from the crowd. And just being good at what you do is probably not enough to get that done. (Sorry!)

The trick to getting noticed is being creative. It may be how you advertise, what your ads look like, or the deal you’re offering. Whatever it is, something has to stand out if you want to get noticed. Coming up with a great idea doesn’t always happen in an instant. It takes thinking, research, and lots of brainstorming. Whether it’s taking a few days to work on it, or simply setting aside some time at the end of every day, you have to put some oomph behind it if you want to get results.

Believe it or not, while it may take some creativity and crazy thinking, you may find that the crazy thinking has already been done for you. An example? Instead of sending out a boring old mailer, there are companies that make unique mailers, like messages in a bottle and coconuts. Sure, other people have access to buy this stuff and use it too, but if you’re doing a mailing campaign, what are the changes you’re competing in the same market with someone who uses the same product? Slim to none.

Plus, if you get two coconuts in the mail, are you really going to read what’s inside one and ignore the other?
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When it comes to marketing, flashy isn’t always better. Sure, you don’t want to be boring and blend in, but the key to standing out isn’t different fonts, bright colors, or making claims you can’t back up or keep. The real key is being unique and different. Often a simple eye-drawing headline is enough to get people to notice your ad, catching their attention without blinding the customer. People want to do business with someone they can trust, not just someone who can yell the loudest.

While it may take effort and some amount of investment, if you come up with a good marketing campaign, the end results will likely be more than worth the effort.

Just last night I saw a TV advertisement for an air conditioning company with the owner (I assume) reminding the listener that they have built their company around the Big Three Promises. (1) We will answer the phone, (2) We will show up on the day and hour promised, and (3) We will fix the problem.

I must admit that isn’t very creative, but as I thought about it, that was enough to get my attention and capture my interest. Sometimes, less is more.


Mike MarchevMike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.

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