Are you reliant on hair-on-fire marketing?

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Are you reliant on hair-on-fire marketing?

LIsa Vitale marketing GuruAre you reliant on hair-on-fire marketing?

If your efforts to gain the attention of prospects relies on over-the-top attention-grabbers, shock graphics or in-your-face claims and warnings, you may risk losing credibility with your audience. That’s what we refer to as “hair on fire marketing.”

Relevance. Getting it right. Knowing your audience. Even if your prospects’ hair IS on fire, they will take the time to listen to the pitch about fireproof shampoo, or the hat with the built-in cooling fan. The goal is to have them wondering, “How did they know that’s exactly what I needed?!”

Your audience, overworked and distracted, won’t be listening the second time they hear the carnival barker yell in their face. But they WILL listen if something speaks directly to them and their pain du jour.

How often you speak to them and in what tone really makes a difference. Repetition, or effective frequency, is a vital tool in keeping warm the interest of potential buyers. But those buyers all have too many things to do in any given day and there may be many competitors trying to get their attention. That’s what prompts many marketers to inundate prospects with over-the-top headlines screaming for attention. That can backfire.

“Quite simply you can’t send content out week after week — not without a clear plan in place,” observes Kyle Lacy is head of Marketing Strategy for OpenView Venture Partners, a B2B expansion-stage venture capital firm in Boston.  “After a while, you’ll run out of ideas, and you’ll publish things because you “have to,” not because you actually have anything important to say. And as a result, the important things you do say will be lost in the avalanche of your week-after-week stuff.”

HaironFireYour target’s pain that there are too many fires to fight is real, but that doesn’t mean the marketer has to fan those flames by using scare tactics and shouting to get attention.

Marketers need to relearn the value of understanding their market, and that their market is, well, the individual buy­ers and their needs. Their pain, in the context of information technology, might be how to prevent an intruder from hacking in, or how to give international divisions access to their ERP system, or any number of critical, big-impact mis­sions.

In fact, according to a 2015 survey according to a 2015 survey, “The more content we produce, the more likely it is to fail. Marketers have been good at producing large volumes of content, but not quality content and not the right types of content.” The survey found that most buyers consume just 2 to 5 collateral assets before they are ready to buy, while only 4% consumed more than 10.

More than ever your message has to resonate and embrace the target’s unique pain.

This approach, this reaction to the realities of the unbelievably stressed American workplace, is

timeless. “Know your audience” puts the emphasis back on tried-and-true marketing practices

like focus groups, market research, surveys, and insider knowledge.

We advise and help clients identify, engage and qualify prospects with maximum precision so they can focus on delivering a rational message, not hair-on-fire marketing. The message has to resonate and embrace the target’s unique pain.  Survey-based demand generation not only identifies prospects but also provides details about their need for products or services.