Shana Tovah

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To everyone who observes the Jewish faith – Shana tovah u’metukah ve tikateivu. (Happy and sweet year and may you be written in the Book of Life.)

Are You Marketing for You or for Your Prospects

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One of the challenges I face on a regular basis is getting my clients to understand that their marketing should be a reflection of them without being all about them. It’s a difficult concept to explain and, perhaps, even more difficult to understand.

In a nutshell, what it means is that our messaging should always represent who we are as a brand. Whether that means a representation of the owner in a micro-business, or a conglomerate of the slick image created for a big business by a marketing agency – the messaging should be true to the company image.

That being said, we need to make sure that the message we’re putting out there is done in a way that is appealing to our target market.

One example I face on an almost daily basis is the business owner or manager who is choosing a promotional product because they like it and think it’s cool. If that item is not appropriate to their target market, then is the marketing message going to even get noticed? Want a specific? I had a business owner client who loved Zippo lighters and found out that we can brand them for him. His mission in life became to get those Zippos for his next promotional campaign.  Now his target market was high school kids. How many parents would even allow their kid to own a Zippo lighter, let alone use one? They’d be confiscated if taken to school and probably taken away from the kid at home, too.  Not the right media for his marketing message, but it took a lot of effort, and a visit I arranged with a school principal explaining the ramifications of a kid being caught on campus with a Zippo (suspension and, possibly expulsion) to convince him this was not a “cool” promotion.

Don’t get me wrong, Zippo lighters can be a great promotional product – when given to the right audience in the right venue at the right time.

Next time you put together a marketing campaign (promotional product, online, print ad, or other), think about whether the messaging will really speak to your target.