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Go the **** away

Even if we don’t say it, that’s what we’re thinking. And by we, I mean your audience. Too many marketers assume that just because they have something to say people will pay attention.

Note the key word here is “pay”. Attention is precious currency. We’re all misers when it comes to what we’ll spend it on. And we’ll ruthlessly dismiss those who would short-change us for little or nothing in return.

So we’re loathe to spend that limited resource on anything you have to say – unless it’s about us. About how we feel. How we see ourselves. What we want. How we can make life better. It doesn’t have to be profound or ground-breaking. But it does have to be genuine.

The moment it becomes about you, we tune out, turn the page, scroll down. And just like that, you’re gone. Flicked away and forgotten with the flex of a thumb or swipe of a finger.

So, how do you avoid being banished? Pay attention to these fundamentals:

1. Make it emotional.

Seth Godin said “Communication is the transfer of emotion”. We remember feelings much more keenly and vividly than we do facts and figures. Every decision we make, big or small, is influenced by emotion. “Hurt” campaign for the Office of Highway Safety.

2. Make it entertaining.

Tell us a story – about us. If we don’t grin, gasp or weep, if we can’t see ourselves in the story you’re telling, we won’t remember you. “When Luck Calls, Scratch It” for South Dakota Lottery.

3. Make it useful.

Give us the shortcut. Help us save time, money or effort. Show us how we can improve our lives and we’ll remember. “Skilled Scholars” for Build Dakota Scholarship Fund.

Use these principals skillfully and we just might pay attention. And that can pay off for savvy marketers.

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