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Are you boring?

Marketing, advertising should be fun and engaging

Brian OffenbergerBrian Offenberger
Let them love you or hate you but don't ever let them be bored by you.
     Most advertising is boring. It isn't fun to read or entertaining in any way. It all sounds and looks the same. That's why we tune it out.
     No matter how good your business may be, it still needs customers. Customers are people. People like entertainment, great news and reasons to smile.
     Here is a secret: Advertising and marketing shouldn't be so professional and so uninteresting that no one pays attention to it. It's not supposed to be boring. For it to work, it must grab people's attention and gain their interest. There is no other way.
     Let me share with you parts of a sales letter I got from the VP of one of the world's largest companies. I was hired to speak at their national dealer meeting, and I received a copy of the meeting follow up letter sent to their dealers.
     "Dear Brian," the letter began. "Thank you for attending the 2012 _______ Dealer Appreciation Meeting. It was our most successful meeting ever! Our recent restructuring has positioned _______ well in this tough economy and our new (insert model number) is sure to be a market winner." Blah...blah, blah...blah, blah, blah.
     Do you see what's happening here? This letter is so professional that even if I were their dealer, I'd be bored to tears and setting it aside in a matter of seconds.
     Marketing that works is never boring. Think closely about what I am teaching. Don't make the mistake of thinking what you find interesting is the same thing your customers find interesting. Most companies only talk about themselves and the features of their products and services. Unfortunately, only your peers and people in our field find that interesting.
     Your prospects and customers only care about what's in it for them. They don't give a darn about what you think is interesting - their concern is with themselves and their issues. If you want to lose prospects and turn them away in droves, keep the boring, highly "professional" stuff. If you want to sell things, start communicating like a normal person in an engaging, informative way.
     My good friend and esteemed copywriter Dave Simon says good advertising always answers for the prospect, "What's in it for me?" Dave is right. Just like you, people care most about what's in it for them. And if you believe that, you had better place it at the center of your marketing efforts.
     People are bombarded with thousands of ad messages a day. That means you have seconds at most to get their attention. Then, if you get their attention, they may give you another blink of the eye to see what you have. This is the moment of truth - they'll either give you their attention or you'll lose them. Just like that.
     This means your marketing must get and keep people's attention through the entire message, or at least long enough so they will take your desired business action.
     Boring and ignoring rhyme for a reason. One leads to the other. Don't let your prospects be bored.

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