The Fatal Marcom Flaw: Like a Bad Date

Businesses are too often guilty of making the fatal marcom error in trying to connect to customers: telling customers what you want them to hear versus telling them what they want to hear.

Think of a customer relationship in terms of dating. Yes, I am asking you to think back to the best date you’d ever had. I bet your date asked a lot about you, your interests, thoughts and ideas, your work, your hobbies, your opinions and feelings. I’d gamble that you connected on some mutual interests.

Think about one of your worst dates. Was it a one-sided conversation? Did your date talk mostly about themselves and not bother to learn about you? Apply that to your customer marketing and communications. Are you listening to your customers, their hopes, their dreams, their fears? Or, are you just throwing information at them you want them to have?

Quality content is vital to your customer relationships. Think of your favorite brands. Does Apple slam you with how their IoS systems lasts longer because it has a better cooling system than PCs? No. It draws customers in with simple content that connects to its customers' psyche with its "Think Different" campaign. And, Apple’s Watch commercials feature no words and only just images of the watch as a part of people’s lives. CocaCola's campaigns "Open Happiness" and "Taste the Feeling" and "Have a Coke and a Smile" don't speak to the attributes of the product. Even financial services companies have gotten the message such as "Nationwide is on Your Side" and U.S. Bank's "The Power of Possible." And, in the ad we produced for the Y, we didn’t feature photos of gym equipment or a yoga studio but invited consumers to "Get Back to Your Best".

In people’s very busy days, the only way you’ll get through to your customer is by first making a connection to their needs, hopes, goals and personal identity, and then make a connection to your product or service. Avoid the fatal flaw when you market and on a first date.

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