Is Your Marketing Message Lost in the Clutter?
Six secrets to a break-through makeover.
October 12, 2010
The average person is bombarded with 2,000 to 3,000 marketing messages each day. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s how.
Think about it, the mayhem begins when your alarm clock sounds — “this traffic watch was brought to you by … ,” You flip on the TV to hear “the weather was sponsored by … ,” then you check your BlackBerry to find your inbox loaded with marketing messages, pitching everything imaginable to make your life easier. All that and you haven’t even left the house. Then there’s the morning commute … where you see all those billboards whether you travel on foot, rail, boat or car. Your brain is on overload, yet you have not reached the office.
Grabbing Attention When the Brain Is on Tilt
Realize it or not, your brain is forced to deal with massive amounts of stimuli, including marketing messages, while guiding you safely through each day. Unfortunately, most people’s brains are over-stimulated, so they tag much of this new information as clutter and simply tune it out.
“Eighty-five percent of the time our brains are on autopilot,”according to Martin Lindstrom, author of The New York Times Bestseller, Buy-ology, thatreveals fascinatingnew research based on studies of the brain and why people buy. “Point is, our brains are constantly busy collecting and filtering information. Some bits of information will make it into our memory, but most will become extraneous clutter, dispensed into oblivion. The process is unconscious and instantaneous, but it is going on every second of every minute of every day.”
So what is a professional services firm to do to gain the attention of its target audience in this noisy marketplace?
“It’s a tough battle to win attention these days,” said Alan Vitberg, director of marketing for Rochester, New York-based The Bonadio Group. “For starters you must keep your message fresh and that requires regular marketing makeovers. In fact, we target a new push at least every 18 months to two years.”
It’s Not Just a Numbers Game
As practitioners, CPAs tend to focus on facts and bottom lines when they are trying to encourage new behavior. After all, that is what drives decisions, right?
Lindstrom’s neuromarketing research confirms what some of you have known for years. “Because emotions are the way in which our brains encode things of value, a brand that engages us emotionally — think Apple, Harley Davidson, Hallmark — will win every single time.” In other words, buying decisions are driven by emotion, versus a rational thought process driven by numbers and facts.
Grant Thornton gets it. In fact, their latest ad campaign is all about emotion. Just take one look at the tagline: People who love what they do — could anything symbolize passion more than the red rose they incorporate into these ads?
“At Bonadio, we have learned that to get people to notice us, we must do something that has stopping power,” added Vitberg. “And to do that, we must touch people’s emotions. Numbers, facts and technical terms just don’t cut it. That’s often a hard concept to get your hands around for folks who live and breathe numbers.”
Take the Litmus Test
Here’s a quick test to know if it’s time to consider a marketing makeover.
If the answer is “no” to any of these, it’s time for a change.
Six Secrets to a Successful Marketing Makeover
Here are six keys to your marketing makeover success:
One rule of thumb Vitberg offers for firms fearing to be different is “Stay true to your firm’s brand and values, but don’t be afraid to push the envelope. For example, in this new campaign we introduced video and storytelling. What a wonderful new way for our partners to share real life examples of how they helped clients achieve success. Not only is it compelling, but it is easy for site visitors to relate. Our folks had a great time sharing their experiences too.”
From Turning Heads to Generating Leads
Bonadio’s latest attempt to grab attention is already turning heads.
“In just a short time, we’re already making a splash on college campuses, as we enter prime-time recruiting season. It’s too early to know if ‘Bonadio & You’ will help generate the new business leads we are looking for. Hopefully we have hit on another winner. Now is the time to follow through.”
Maybe it’s time for a marketing makeover for your firm. Take the litmus test. Start today. Otherwise your marketing messages may be extraneous clutter that is dispensed into oblivion.
Tracy Crevar Warren, founder of The Crevar Group, helps professional services firms win more new business and build more profitable practices. A sought-after consultant, facilitator, author and speaker, she advises clients on practice growth through marketing, sales and client service. With a proven track record and positive high-energy style, she inspires and empowers local, regional, national and international groups to do more of the work they love. She has just finished working on her first book Bull's-Eye! The Ultimate How-to Marketing & Sales Guide for CPAs produced by the AICPA and AAM. You can reach her at 336-889-GROW (4769) or www.thecrevargroup.com.If you are looking for more practical tips to help build your practice — visit her new blog — The Practice Growth Architect.