I’ve seen it time and time again. Fear driving a marketing effort instead of logical strategy.
You have to fight the fear. The fear causing you to put every piece of information about your product on a tradeshow banner. The fear that makes you send out three sales emails to the same list in one week. The fear that makes you put four products on one postcard mailer.
“What if we’re missing something?”
“Oh, if they love product A, they’re sure to love product B, why don’t we just put it in… can’t hurt.”
“I know these prospects love sports cars, but we really should tell them about the truck we sell… this is an opportunity!”
I would say the majority of people I’ve worked with, both large corporate clients and small businesses, both make similar mistakes when it comes to their marketing. Whether you’re big or small, budget is limited so it’s natural to try make the most of every dollar.
Unfortunately that usually translates into jamming a huge amount of information on a limited space or trying to sell multiple products through one marketing piece.
For example, in the past, I worked on copy for a trade show banner for a relatively small company. They were launching their new product and wanted to draw in prospects to their booth. So that’s the goal… draw people in. Then the sales staff can take over and educate prospects about the features and benefits of the product.
I wrote copy that included questions relevant to the target market. I explained that people would read these questions and they would say, ‘Yes, I have that problem…” or “Yes, that really irritates me…” The whole point was to intrigue the reader and get them to come over to the booth where a professional could educate them about the extremely complex product being sold.
The problem was, the owner of the company had put a lot of time, effort and money into this product so he wanted to show everybody what it could do. Now, this is a very common impulse and I’ve seen over and over again. It’s natural… but wrong.
Unfortunately, by including so much information on the banner and trying to educate prospects there and then, he probably lost a lot of opportunities to sell in person. After all, a decision could be made based on the information on the banner (even though in reality, it was limited information in relation to the product).
Instead of creating interest and connecting with the prospect on a personal level, the banner became yet another list of features, was overly complicated and copy heavy. In addition, because the product was so complex, the information was actually incomplete anyway.
So now we’ve got a banner that’s copy heavy, allows the prospect to decide there and then whether they want to continue the sales process, and lets the prospect make that decision based on incomplete information.
The solution is to remember what the ultimate point of your marketing piece is.
Is it to educate? Then maybe more information is required.
Is it to entice? Then don’t try and educate.
Is it to introduce one product? Then don’t remind the prospect of your seven other products.
Just remember the main purpose and let that guide you. Fight the fear impulse and avoid information overload! Your marketing will end up being better for it.