Here’s a lesson I took from a funny and apocryphal experience I had when looking for my car in an underground car park recently relating to one of the great challenges faced by modern marketers today – how to win visibility and interest from audiences who are paying less and less attention to most everything. Learn why it’s vital that marketers think and get more personal from here on out.
4 Key Takeaways:
- Winning attention is guaranteed to get harder and harder in the wake of suffocating levels of information overload – fueled by incessant, explosive growth in online noise that can only become worse
- Adopting a mostly offline or mostly online marketing communications strategy won’t cut it if you need to grow visibility and excitement for/about you, your ideas or your business in 2018. You need to combine the best of both.
- You need to ditch broadcast communications and to think and get more personal to connect with target audiences today. Remember the maxim: Specific pays and general gets ignored.
- You’ll achieve faster and better results if you can adopt approaches that allow you to grow relationships one by one. What may appear to be a long way home is actually the fastest!
About Eamonn O’Brien:
Eamonn O’Brien is one of Europe’s leading authorities on business storytelling and the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club – where he helps leaders to conquer their fears of speaking and to speak memorably, live and to camera.
He’s also a recent President of Professional Speaking Association Ireland and the author of the book ‘How to Make Powerful Speeches’. And his podcast is included in the Top 100 Small Business Podcasts by Small Business Trends and he is a co-founder of both the international 7-Day Video Challenge and GoDoVideo.
Contacting Eamonn O’Brien:
So I had a peculiar and unexpected conversation recently.
While humming distractedly, groceries in hand and plugged into my smartphone in an underground car park of a local Lidl supermarket, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
What are you doing on Monday evening?
Asked a stranger – a woman I was fairly sure I didn’t know.
We need men!
she continued and grinned a huge grin.
The quirkiness and brassiness of her question made me laugh out loud.
I said, in feigned surprise
I heard you singing
Nice voice! I run a local choir and I just want you to know that we’re in desperate need of men…who can sing, that is!
Well that’s a new line of marketing” I suggested. “As chat up lines go, that’s a new one! Out of blind curiosity, do you make it a habit to approach random men your find humming in car parks?
And then – after a giant belly laugh – she said something that struck a chord with me at 2 levels.
It’s odd, I know. But, truth is, it’s ridiculously hard to get attention from people these days. No one reads notices anymore and we can’t afford to send out fliers. So, if you don’t try a personal approach, you’d never get new members. It’s just a sign of the times!
Firstly, after hearing more about her choir (which actually sounded really good) I decided that I’m mighty tempted to try it out in the New Year. So her direct approach may have been a really good tack.
And secondly, she’s 100% right. It has become harder to recruit new people to do most anything today via traditional means.
In fact, as I thought about what she said, I mused that I can’t remember the last time I read or responded to a notice in a newsagent, local library or even a local paper.
And, if I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’m guessing you’d likely to say the same thing?
Rather, if you were looking for information, would it be fair to say that the first thing you’d be inclined to do would be to look online?
Probably? And, assuming that’s true (as it is for most folks)…
…Therein lies the elephant in the room – the huge snag that it has become ridiculously difficult to win attention online in the face of:
- Online audiences who have long since reached a saturation point regarding how much content they can or will consume
- Tsunami after tsunami of content added day after day online on most every topic – increasing the chances (as mentioned in a recent podcast by Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster) that even awesome content will go unseen or unheard
- Attention spans that have fallen to seconds versus minutes
So, what’s a body to do if you still need attention or visibility without spending hand over fist? Here’s my take:
Move away from most marketing tactics that rely on one to many broadcasts and think instead of how you can create real, personal and meaningful conversations, one person at a time.
As you think about this, realise that this will likely require you to find ways to lead with more face-to-face forms of communications with your target audiences that you back up/supplement with online communications versus vice-versa. You’re far more likely to win connection and emotional engagement that way.
And remember, to quote an international social media marketing expert pal of mine in the UK Amanda Brown:
Face to face is the ultimate in social media
I couldn’t agree more and believe these are words to live by for every marketer as you plan for 2018 and beyond.
The more personally driven communications are, the more likely you are to encourage meaningful and valued conversations, cultivate relationships and become more trusted.
And that’s a winning formula for a Monday or any other day of the week!