An Open Letter to Marketers: Speak Softly
Every day, the average American is assaulted by almost 5,000 promotional messages. And American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to make this happen. Marketers have polluted the culture with white noise. And the very people we’re trying to reach have learned to tune us out.
What are we doing? How did we get here?
Now, think of the businesses that don’t get tuned out. The great businesses. Apple. Coca-Cola. Disney. They play in different industries, but they all share one thing: people come to them.
This happens, partly, because of the compelling products they offer. But it also happens because great businesses are incredibly savvy about how they engage people. They don’t blather on and on about how great they are. They don’t waste energy and media trying to sell the entire world. Instead, they focus on personal conversations with their best audiences … and they create an atmosphere where people come to like and trust them on their own.
Great businesses know that a whisper is better heard than a shout — because people will lean in to hear what you have to say. Great businesses know how to speak softly … and carry a powerful brand.
Google processes more than 3 billion searches each day. Facebook has more than 1 billion active daily users. People are more self-directed than ever when it comes to how they get and share information. They don’t want to be “talked at” anymore. The old advertising and marketing model is dying … even if your agency hasn’t realized it yet.
Your future customers aren’t numbers to be hunted. They’re human beings who want to be engaged. They’re out there, each day — traveling through the digital and physical worlds — searching for answers, looking to be inspired, and eager to share captivating, authentic content with the important people in their lives. Are they finding you? And, if so, are you giving them what they really want?
Can you imagine a near future where people, in droves, are coming to you for answers? Where they’re so inspired by what you’re doing that they light up social media channels? Where they know you, trust you, and think of you first at the exclusion of all others?
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