Thursday, December 15, 2005

The first lesson of marketing

The first lesson you learn in marketing should be that nobody cares about you or what you sell.

If you want someone to pay attention to you, you have to earn their attention -- and then maybe later their respect.

It's amazing to me how many marketers don't get it. They think that if they advertise a product or a URL, prospects are going to eagerly devour every word, or flock to their website to learn all they can.

Things don't work that way. Not because people don't like you, but because they are too busy.
Researchers claim people today are bombarded with 3,000 advertising messages a day. How many, honestly, do you have time to proactively explore?

OK, every marketer will say they already know that. So why don't they act that way?

Why do we continue to see ads with reverse type (which actively discourages reading)? Why do so many advertisers talk on and on about themselves and not the needs of their customers? How do they expect prospects to read 400 words of copy on a page when they haven't yet established a value proposition?

These are general observations that apply to any market. But the entrepreneurial market doubles this challenge.

These are the most distracted, time-short people you'll ever know. They have disciplined themselves to always get to the point. And they have zilch respect for people who don't understand the importance of their time.

The rules of communication are clear. Show that you understand your market before seeking to be understood.

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