The most difficult part of creating demand for your product is delivering your marketing message to the right people. The first necessity of creating the message is the hardest of all.
What’s the last Power Point presentation you remember? If you are like me it’s none. In fact, I cringe the moment I recognize a presentation as a Power Point one. The last time I recall seeing a good one was a year ago – and I see a lot of presentations. Yet, many continue to deliver the message about their new awesome product in this dull and boring manner.
We live in the Information Age, and we are exposed to too much information every day. It seems as though everyone wants to say something to us. Our biggest problem is filtering through all the rubbish to get at what is relevant to us. Once we have targeted what we want to listen to, the message is often so uninteresting that it loses our attention – even if it could solve all of our problems.
The business world needs to take a lesson from Hollywood. Marketing messages not only need to be informative and educational, they need to be entertaining and motivating. An entertaining message holds the viewer’s attention and it also makes the points more memorable. To motivate a buyer, the seller needs to make the buyer imagine and feel the benefits of the product. In fact, there’s a reason sound bites were created. People will remember a short, concise, and clear phrase about something more than a paragraph of facts. My mantra about early stage start-ups is “It’s not about the product”, and until an entrepreneur understands this, he will fail.
Wisdom of selling says you can’t convince the buyer of anything, you can only provide the buyer with the information to convince themselves. It’s not that presentations aren’t chocked full of facts, features, and benefits. It’s not that the presenters don’t know the material and aren’t prepared. It’s the manner in which the information is communicated. Your product may not be differentiated or one-of-a-kind, but the way it is presented can be.
One of the biggest problems with marketing is that it is taught in school, yet the goal of marketing is to make your product stand out from the crowd. The result is every marketing person follows the same strategies taught in school, which makes their product one of many that don’t seem different in the eyes of the customer. The solution is often to have development add more bells and whistles, so the comparison chart has more checks on your column than in their column. Of course, the competitors get the chart from the prospects and the feature race is on.
Marketers like to create product demos. Just this week, I was with a group of investors who opinion was that if a start-up’s demo isn’t jaw dropping, if it doesn’t elicit the “Wow!” of the unexpected, then it’s not worth showing.
The real answer as why more businesses don’t create great marketing material is that it is really hard to do so. It’s easy to make the commonplace or the blah type, to copy what everyone else is doing. However, spectacular takes a lot of work and a lot of thought.