Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Want people to be interested? Be interesting!

My clients pay me to communicate their messages in such a way as to cause individuals to respond. The first step in that process is to get people to take notice, an increasingly difficult task in our media-rich world.

Breaking through the clutter has been the marketer's assignment since the beginning of the profession. How we go about it continues to evolve.

The best advice I can give my clients is this: If you want people to be interested, you'd better be interesting.

A marketing message, no matter what the delivery method, must spark your interest, catch your eye and demand your attention. Boring does not cut it. Safe is a snooze. "Tried and true" equals "old and tired."

Turn the tables for a moment. What captures your attention? Which TV commercials do you like? What does it take to get you to turn up the radio volume in the car? How do you decide which items in the pile of today's mail get read and which get tossed? What is it about a website that gets you to go deeper than the home page?

Today you must engage the prospect immediately or lose him or her forever. Your message must be smart, memorable and resonate with something that is already "on the radar screen" of the potential customer. You can't force an idea into a closed mind, so you must find an opening that already exists.

The message must zero in on the self-interest of the individual or it will be ignored. Yet too many companies are too self-absorbed to do anything more than spout off about themselves and their own interests, which are seldom aligned with the customer's.

To be successful at attracting interest, you must succeed at being interesting. That means crafting a message that connects with the right prospects, delivered through the right channels, at the right time.

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