Advertisements are everywhere.
On the TV. On the radio. In a newspaper or magazine. Even in the bathroom.
Yep, we can’t even escape advertisements when we go to the bathroom.
This cleaver company decided people want to be advertised to when they’re going to the bathroom!
Resorting to this reeks of desperation. In fact I can’t think of a worse way to advertise. People are wiping their butts with your ads. Talk about hitting an all time low.
Would you really want your brand to be aligned with toilet paper and crap?
I can imagine the thought process went something like this:
“We’ve tried everything else to get people’s attention but nothing’s working. Eureka! Let’s create some advertisements that are going to be smeared in crap and flushed down the toilet!”
To convert people in new customers and regular customers into evangelists, you have to hit it where it matters most. The heart…not the ass.
Read on to discover what it takes to emotionally connect with people.
There are two things I want to discuss in my next two blog posts.
This one you’re about to read will discuss how to determine what matters to people. From there you will be able to create a deeper connection with people through your future advertising and marketing.
The following one will discuss the importance of maintaining a consistent brand image.
Creating emotional connections
Both topics have been on my mind for over a month now. It hit me while I was watching a squash tournament. I’ve recently become addicted to the game of squash. For those that don’t know it’s a game that it played in a boxed off court very much like racquetball.
My closet friend Adam wanted me to play more and I have been. I don’t have enough time to play golf anymore so squash is an awesome alternative.
One of the things I enjoy about squash is the social nature of the sport. It’s like anything I suppose. But squash players love to talk after the game. More on these conversations in a bit and why every conversation you engage in is important.
Since advertisements are everywhere it’s not surprising they’re plastered on squash courts. Personally I don’t pay much attention to them since I’m busy trying to beat my opponent.
They also don’t connect with me. Being a marketer and consumer I try to think about how marketing can be done better.
In this case I wanted to see how the squash advertisements could generate more meaning. Adam – who got me into squash – also owns Victoria Transmission Auto Care.
Last year he was toying with the idea of sponsoring a court. Thankfully he decided to resist the urge to interrupt. He also felt that sponsoring a court didn’t align with his brand image.
I agreed. They’ve been marketing the company beautifully the last two years. Organizing things like their popular ladies nights, focusing on being an eco friendly shop and educating young drivers on car care and safety.
It didn’t make sense to slap his company’s logo on the squash courts. There just wasn’t a connection there.
We are in an age where interruptive and meaningless advertising and marketing is becoming more and more ignored. You can even say hated. The brands who focus on people’s hearts and aim to out care their competition will do exceedingly well in the future.
Adam feels such strong bond to the game of squash and the people who play at our club. He simply wants to give back to them. If his business can benefit from this, even better.
So it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered a way he could do that.
Every Conversation Is Important
We were watching a big squash tournament at another squash club in town. The players from our club remarked that they didn’t like the courts. They were dimly lit and the walls were very dirty.
Our clubs courts’ lack in areas as well. The lights are not the same color and often burnt out. Our walls get marked up from the ball and they have the odd chip of cement missing. From time to time dust balls are seen on the court.
With that said every player from our club we talked to hated the courts. This is something that comes up often in my conversations with fellow squash players. The condition of the courts matter deeply.
It’s the same in golf. I worked in the golf industry at a very nice private club. Everyone I knew who played at the public, municipal and executive courses in the city wanted badly to play the course I worked at.
They fell the same way as my squash friends. Being able to play on nice squash courts and a nice golf course means an awful lot to people. It touches them where it matters most. The heart.
You can see where I am going here. Adam wants to grow his business and make an emotional connection with our fellow squash players.
The best way for him to do that is to sponsor the court. But instead of plastering his company logo on the wall, he should focus on making the court he sponsors, the nicest and cleanest in the city.
It’s really no different than the adopt a highway programs many states in the US have. Local businesses adopt a mile or more of a highway. It’s their responsibility to ensure that stretch is kept clean. Since it’s their name on it, they want to do a great job.
Stealing this idea he would make sure the walls are always clean, the lights are bright and always replaced. Too make a major impact, the floors could be waxed or completely re-done.
Before you start to think that this is far too costly. Think about the lifetime cost of a customer. In his industry, it’s a lot. It would only take a few people to become lifetime customers for this to pay off.
All these things would no doubt make a definite impact. Any player that steps foot on the court would take notice of Adam and his business.
Principles of Meaningful Marketing
This is of course theoretical idea. But it touches on two key principles of meaningful marketing.
1) It creates a deep connection
2) It improves people’s lives regardless of the product or service it sells
Deep down I want to inspire you to do more than just slap your logo on something, call it day and hope people patronize your business.
That’s what everyone else is doing. Be different and stand out from the competition by creating more meaning with your marketing!
All you have to do is listen to your current clients and see what matters most to them. In any conversation you will find those things that your clients care deeply about.
In this example all I did was pay close attention to the conversations I was having. Looking for something that other squash players felt deeply about. Remember earlier when I said every conversation you engage in is important? The conversations I have with other squash players is evidence of this.
This example is what out caring your competition is all about. Once people know that you care about them, they’ll start to care about your business.
What do you think?
Are there any ways you can create a deeper connection with people and have your business grow at the same time?
Image courtesy of Gail from Flickr
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