Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
What are your customers doing when your marketing or sales messages show up in their lives? Sitting there waiting, minds clear, all prepared to devote their full attention to what you have to say?
Of course not!
Any time your customers encounter your marketing or sales messages, you can be sure that they already have a deep, rich, personal narrative happening in their minds. Your challenge: Become part of that story without interrupting it. Have a look at today’s newsletter, Don’t Knock Her Story Out Of Her Hands.
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
People usually scrutinize advertising promises carefully, reacting to each claim of “new and improved” with “prove it to me.” But it’s election season, that season where people decide to believe the most ludicrous claims that can possibly be crammed into a :30 second spot.
“Candidate A has ties to Z.”
“My opponent, candidate B, said C that proves Y.”
“If elected, I pledge to do C because I believe in X.”
I’m not a political commentator, so I will never offer any opinions or views on particular politicians on this blog. But I am a marketing commentator.
So, to sort through this craziness, I want to suggest a simple “rule” for how to interpret political advertising:
Scrutinize political advertising the way
you would scrutinize car advertising
As you watch a political ad, imagine that the product is not a candidate, but a car. Imagine that every nasty thing said by one candidate about another is a Lexus dealer saying something nasty about an Accura dealer down the street.
“Our rival’s lending policies are unfair to middle America.”
“Our cars will get you to the moon, and save you money!”
Would you believe any of this? Of course not!
“If you buy my car, I pledge to bring you prosperity, even if it
requires me to suspend the laws of economics and physics.”
“My opponent may claim that his car is made in America,
but can he prove it? Show us the bills of lading!”
Each political party and most candidates are guilty of this. And we citizens suffer, not only because we don’t get accurate political information, but because we have to suffer through these ads if we choose to have the television on.
The only winners? Ad agencies, who get to suspend standards of good communication and lower the bar on truth, producing anything that looks or sounds good to a citizenry suspending its sense of judgment. This may even be more fun than working on Super Bowl spots!
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Today’s newsletter, How to Do Differentiation Differently, follows up on our last issue, offering steps to help you focus on a kind of differentiation that will mean something to your customers.
Please share your comments and experiences! How well does your organization show its individual customers that your recognize what makes each of them unique?
Read the newsletter here: How to Do Differentiation Differently
Friday, August 28th, 2009
I published this piece on tompters.com today: Social Media as Mass Marketing … Not the Future. Have a look, and add your comments.
Keep the “social” in social media!
Sunday, March 16th, 2008
Close your eyes for a minute and think of a few companies you really like doing business with. (You can open them now) Now, try to remember the interactions that influenced your opinions of those companies.
How many were interactions that were created “en masse” for you and other customers, such as ads, web home pages, fine print, FAQ’s, direct mail pieces, etc.?
How many were one-on-one interactions, such as personal advice from a salesperson, a customer service rep fixing a problem for you, a maintenance person trouble-shooting an issue for you, etc.?
Here is the simple truth: Marketing becomes less effective the more people it tries to reach at one time.
No doubt, it’s impossible to talk to customers one at a time, all of the time. It’s even hard to talk to them in small groups all of the time. Hey, even this blog is a form of mass communication. There are times when it is necessary, and even smart, to talk to customers as a group.
But it is also important to recognize that you are always making a compromise as you talk to many customers at one time. The natural tendency in marketing is to gang up communications and reach more customers, concurrently. Don’t look at this tendency as a convenience that makes the marketing job easier. Look at it as a compromise, even if it is a necessary compromise, that limits your ability to communicate.
Remember The Rule of the Few and the Many. It’s a simple rule: When possible, few is always better than many.
"When Steve Yastrow writes, I pay close attention"
- Tom Peters
"I had to buy two copies. The first one is so dog-eared and underlined I couldn't read it any longer."
- Seth Godin
Steve is the author of Brand Harmony
and the newly published We:
The Ideal Customer Relationship
. Learn more and order direct from our Products
page, or from Amazon
About Steve Yastrow and Yastrow & Company
In addition to writing, I spend most of my work time helping companies unleash their potential by creating better connections with their customers. This happens through my speaking events and through Yastrow & Company consulting engagements, where my team and I help companies figure out who they intend to be in the future, and then engage the entire company in creating that future through strong "We" customer relationships.
Before starting Yastrow & Company in the mid-90s I was vice-president of resort marketing for Hyatt Hotels. My experiences in the hotel business showed me clearly that most marketing doesn’t happen in the marketing department. Customers are paying attention to all interactions with a company, not just the promises made in traditional "marketing communications."
For more information, see our About page.