One of my favorite all-time ads was a cover for Business Week Magazine. The year was 1996. Proctor & Gamble suggested that we make marketing simple.
“Marketers sell too much stuff in too many different ways. Now the smart ones are cutting the complexity.”
Whoever reminded us that ‘what was old is new again,’ had their hand on the pulse. With more and more people becoming more and more familiar with the workings of the Internet, we are all being inundated with marketing come-ons from every corner of the globe. (I bet you didn’t know the globe has corners. Neither did I.)
Letting people know what we do, how we do it, and why we do it – all the while trying to portray us as the “good guys” – has become more than a formidable undertaking. At times, it seems it is approaching a down-right impossibility. Too many options. Too many people. Too much noise.
I am becoming oblivious to the BOGO’s of this world. The GUARANTEES. The free initial consultations. The payment plans. The “no-risk” trial memberships. And the sad part is that I have tried them all at one time or another with my marketing endeavors.
It is time we turn back the clock and take a hard look at P&G’s Business Week Cover. What can you do to MAKE IT SIMPLE?
You can begin by being realistic.
Understand your limitations and give a little more credit to the intelligence quotient of your prospects and customers. They know they have a plethora of options and that you are not the only game in town. In many instances, they are more adept at working a computer and Googling for answers than you are. After all, they are FOCUSED on a single destination. Perhaps you would be better off seeing your clients as team members and not “target” audiences.
Next, you can give more than just lip-service to the notion that you can’t “be all things to all people.”
That was the error that P&G was focusing in on. Take a bar of soap for example. There is no such thing anymore as a “bar of soap.” Take a left down aisle five and you are confronted with no less than 200 choices of ways to wash your hands. (You don’t believe me? Try buying some Tylenol. This exercise alone is enough to give you a headache.) Message: Niche. Focus. Concentrate.
And finally, you can give your targeted audience what they are looking for and need most… a person they can trust.
- Am I more interested in making a buck, or in my client’s total and joyful satisfaction?
- Do I do what I say I’m going to do – without exception, hesitation, or excuse?”
- Do I try to make all relationships with me fun, easy, and simple?
Twenty-four years ago, P&G put it out there in lights. I think it is time that we all get the message. Simpler is better.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.