Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work

A No-Nonsense Marketing Smart Tip January 22, 2004

Most new products fail. Most advertising fails. Most marketing efforts fail. The successes, however, are many, and they have lots of things in common. Among those things are three simple principles offered up by author Bill Jensen in his book “The Simplicity Survival Handbook.” Those principles can be summed up in three little words: Know, Feel, Do.

What is the one thing you want people to KNOW, understand, or learn?

One thing. One thought. One message. One fact. That’s it. I see TV spots that are mini-movies carrying listeners through their day. I see spots full of listener testimonials where the messages are all over the map. I see outdoor that can’t resist the urge to snipe one message with another. I read direct mail that’s bursting full of attributes.

The more you communicate, the less that sinks in. Remember that. It’s the one think I want you to KNOW.

What do you want people to FEEL when you’re done?

This may sound ethereal to you, and that’s too bad. Because every station you listen to, every product you buy, every song you love, every morning show you can’t get enough of tops your list not because of what it does but because of how it makes you feel.

To the right is the cover of Mercury’s postcard which was recently mailed to many of you. Am I arguing with me-too facts or am I communicating how it feels to work with me and my company and how that’s unique? After reading this memo, remember that your marketing should communicate how your station makes listeners FEEL. How you say something is just as important as what you say.

What do you want people to DO as a direct result of your communication?

Ever try to assemble something without instructions? Tough, isn’t it? Yet how few of your marketing messages actually instruct the listeners on what you want them to do now? How many TV spots end with a logo – and no instruction? Do you want me to listen? When? Where? Do you want me to play a contest? How? Ever try to assemble something with instructions that are mind-numbingly complex? Even tougher, isn’t it? Yet how much direct mail and telemarketing create complicated hoops the listener must jump through? It’s an indisputable fact: The easier something is to do, the more likely folks are to do it.

Evaluate your marketing. Is there one and only one thought (KNOW)? Are you communicating how it feels to listen (FEEL)? Are you providing simple, clear instructions (DO)? That’s what I want you to DO as a result of this memo.

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