A few weeks back, Jac and I took a week’s vacation in the woods, with no access to our devices or the Internet. There was electricity and water and a small fridge, but there was also the basic requirement that if you wanted a meal, you had to start a campfire and cook over open flame. Imagine having to coax wood to burn, get some coals going, prep the food, and cook it slowly every time you felt like a meal.
Compare that to our regular fast world. We eat when we want. We get it delivered or pop something in the microwave. When we think about buying something, we can say “Alexa, order me more True Lime packets” and it will show up a day or two later. But if everything is so much faster, why is your marketing so slow?
Marketing in the Faster World
Your buyer doesn’t have time to read Moby Dick. Mind you, they’ll binge a whole season of Mindhunter in a day’s time, but if you slow them down with print, it’s not going to happen. (Says the guy typing this to you.)
I’ve been pushing the same simple (but not easy) marketing premise over and over: the snack, the show, and the letter. I’ll repeat it here.
Snack – small media bites. Things like an Instagram posts, tweets, little bitty tastes of what’s going on in the world of your buyer and what you sell to them.
Show – something longer, entertaining, and with more substance, like a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a well crafted newsletter (not to be confused with “the letter” I talk about next).
Letter – access to your prospect’s inbox. This last one becomes the most important tool right now. Why? Because you can’t trust someone to choose to buy or take follow-up actions when they’re consuming snacks or shows. Besides, Google and Facebook own all the other access points to your customer. You own a direct path to their inbox.
The map of where to reach your buyer changes so often that we have to write it out in pencil. For well over a decade, people have asked me where people hang out online, as if that’s the right question to ask. It’s not. The question is and always should be: how do I get access to their inbox? And then: how do I get them to read what I send?
The inbox is the phone. We keep forgetting. And anything we send in text has to be short form these days. So even when we earn their inbox, it’s all about short messages well-targeted.
If you want to reach people in this too-fast, too-busy world, my best advice is that formula: the snack, the show, and the letter. Get clear about showing your prospects their problems and your solutions. Deliver a message that reminds them often that they’re in the right place and you’re the right guide.
And do it quickly. We don’t have time to start a fire. People are hungry now.