A Quick Though Experiment
So if you’re up for it, let’s take a couple seconds a do a little thought experiment.
Take just a second and think back to the last ad you saw today. Not the last memorable ad – the absolute last one that was put in front of you. Email, billboard, TV, whatever.
Quick, what was it?
If you’re like me, you have absolutely no idea. Like 90% of ads, it wasn’t for you – it was for them (an important distinction). So you never paid attention.
Here’s another question. What’s your biggest point of stress at work?
I bet that took you all of two seconds to think up. I bet you even feel a little spike of stress now that I’ve brought it up (sorry about that).
The conclusion is clear. And yes, this is an obvious conclusion, but it’s one we all too frequently overlook.
People don’t care about what you want to tell them, they care about what they’re trying to achieve and the pains they’re trying to resolve.
Which brings us too…
The Biggest Mistake Made In Marketing Today
The biggest mistake made in marketing today is that we focus on what we want people to do, not how we can help them achieve what they want.
How many campaign planning sessions begin with questions like: “What is it we want people to know about us? What are our strengths? How can we stand out? How can we drive the results we want today?”
But these are the wrong questions.
Better questions might be, “What are our prospects biggest problems today? How can we help in a way no one else can?”
This simple shift in focus means we’re now working to help, rather than persuade, and this small change in intention makes all the difference.
It’s the trouble with prioritizing short term gains (which rarely come from self-centered marketing) with long term relationships. In marketing as in life, the biggest gains come by playing the long game.
Question: Do you believe great marketing comes from providing value, or is it actually just about persuasion?
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