I was suspicious of marketing at first, with good reason as it turns out, and yet over the last fifteen years or so I have grown to love it. But recently I notice I have grown tired of being marketed to and I’ve excavated my soul to see why this is.
The concept of authentic marketing isn’t new; I imagine it was born of the same fatigue I have been feeling. It isn’t that I don’t want to buy, just that I want to buy stuff of my own choosing rather than being led to believe I might miss out if I don’t buy what you are attempting to sell me within your bogus deadline.
That feeling of choice is important to me. I like to be free and to feel that the decision was all mine. I like to be flirted with and have my interest tickled to the point where I say “go on then” and open my purse. I like buying to be joyous, like (almost) everything else in my life.
We all know from observing excellent advertising and marketing that it’s about creating desire. And I also know that I end up desiring all sorts of things which weren’t necessarily my idea, so clearly I’m as susceptible to good marketing as the next woman. It doesn’t mean I buy but I might put something on my wish list and see how I feel in a few days. If the desire is still strong then, I’ll find a way to fund my desire before flexing my credit card.
It is said that people buy what they want not what they need, even in a recession. So how are we, as small business owners, going to tickle the interest of our potential clients authentically and without anyone selling their soul? How can we market ourselves elegantly and honestly?
Recently a potential client said to me that she was interested in joining one of my projects, but one look at our sales letter was a real turn-off for her.
This argument has raged and raged in my peer groups for as long as I can remember. We all say we don’t like long “US-style” sales letters and yet we also know we’ve all bought good things from them. It’s as if we go into a trance when we see them and the brain goes “oh, it’s a long sales letter, I know what I’m supposed to do – buy” and we move onto auto pilot.
We are not about to change our whole marketing strategy for the sake of one woman, are we? Yes, we might, actually, because my soul felt this woman’s feedback and agreed with her.
So then, if we know we have a good product, how best to promote it? Long sales letters are proven to work. They are the received wisdom and today I’m thinking – so what?
Wouldn’t I rather take that sales letter down and re-write it from the heart (and shorter) despite it being pretty authentic already? Yes, I would. And I know I’m not alone in this marketing fatigue.
The Minimalists decided that they were no longer going to participate in the 99c nonsense in a piece about the death of the marketing penny. Again this is about going against the received wisdom, what the professional marketers tell us works and what we know works, namely that 99c sells better than $1 and $4.99 is more tempting than $5.
What a load of old rubbish! Intellectually we are not fooled for a moment, are we? We are just falling into line with marketing techniques which are not even hidden; they are in plain sight. It’s just been too long since we examined them as buyers and sellers.
My clients are smart and entrepreneurs don’t need or want to play by the rules. We can create our own authentic methods of doing business and this applies to marketing no less than anything else.
We just want to serve our clients, and our job is to find effective and effortless ways to show them how we can help and then allow them to buy. And then follow that up with everything we know to do so that they love that experience as a first taste of working with us. And want more.
Easy, right? Er… no. But authentic, definitely. And desirable? Absolutely!