Marketing Me Or You?

April 14, 2009 by  Filed under: Marketing 

The point is dead-on. When I teach marketing messages I do this: I’m going to tell you two stories, tell me which story you liked the most.

Story #1: I’m very good looking, I’m super smart, People love me, I make more money than you.

Story #2: You’re one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, You look great, People really look up to you, You’re a really good person.

Universally, people like Story #2. There are so many major corporations who hire huge, big name advertising agencies that then produce Story #1. Al Ries writes about this in his book: The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR . He states that the mega-ad agencies are making ads to win awards and NOT to sell their customers products or services. The advice I give every client is change the focus from “I” to “You.” As in, “I’m a very good dentist” to “You’re a very important patient.” Telling someone how wonderful you are is the old (and very tired) “We’re #1” mentality.

Consumers are very savvy, very smart and “won’t be fooled again.” You’re spot on in you analysis of GM and Hyundai. What can GM do? This advertising approach is approved at the very top of the corporate structure. It’s the same guys who flew to Washington DC in private jets that approve an ad saying, “See we make good cars too.” Will these corporate top-dogs ever change their thoughts and attitudes to “You, our customer is the most important person in this relationship”? They don’t believe that, so why should they change their thoughts and attitudes?

I watch advertisements because I’m in that business, when I saw this one I immediately contacted several of my marketing friends and remarked about how powerful the message is. “If you lose your source of income, we’ll let you return it.” For my clients who sell a product rather than a service I’ve always advocated the “unconditional, satisfaction guaranteed or you can return it and get your money back” sale. This may just be the very first time that’s been done with an automobile.

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