We have to stop phoning it in. Everyone. You. Me. Those guys. It’s not okay. It’s boring and it’s messing up the entire opportunity to reach people and help them succeed. In short, quit your bullshit.
I’m on a flight to San Francisco to help credit union people market their services better. When I went looking at how they do it now, it’s all copy/paste. If I strip the logos off the sites, there’s nothing that differentiates one from the other.
“Get a car loan.”
“Get our credit card.”
“Want some life insurance?”
“Save. Make your dreams happen.”
“It’s your plan.” (I actually like that one.)
They all use stock photos. They all try to reach everyone. They all want to promote their rates.
It’s not that they’re bad. It’s just that there’s a journey prospective customers take with any product or service, and there are opportunities to market better at all the checkpoints along that path.
You and I Have to Do Better
Sameness kills. I read someone’s marketing materials for his leadership business and if I had to red-pen all the phrases that were used on every leadership site, he’d have been left with about 11 words. Also equally boring.
And when it comes to “content marketing,” it was novel for a moment. But if it’s not HELPFUL, then people really won’t care.
My son and I are doing some computer hardware projects (his idea) and we’re buying our stuff from Adafruit. They use a lot of video to show off the functionality of various products they sell. They also do how-to videos. They also give really concrete project plans out, all while gleefully selling you the stuff to execute those projects.
The whole experience feels personal, personable, and helpful.
That’s what our marketing has to be. Or why bother doing it? We need to earn the right to sell and serve, not throw junk over the wall.
On my Kill List
At present, I’m sick of:
- Stock photos/Generic photos
- Copycat podcast formats
- “Make sure to like and subscribe and HIT that little bell button”
- Blather (words that are more garnish than value)
- Listicles (blah, blurgh, hruuuckkk!)
There’s probably more.
We just have to do better.
People will hate us if our version of “marketing” is just clogging up someone’s attention with junk, reruns, leftovers, and generic clones.
Stop it. Get messy. Find the real threads and follow them, knots and all. And help people. Equip them for success. It’s the best way to market. Treat them like they are in the right place and among like-minded souls.
That’s the work.
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