Getting your message home to customers

advertising

Achieving standout, breaking through, gaining mindshare – call it what you will, it’s about getting your message home to your customers.

I’m sure there are no end of people queuing up to tell you how to do it. I’m more concerned with what not to do. Here’s why.

Saturday evening chez Hirsch, old friends Jane and Henry over to dinner and the conversation turned to our children. They’re Millennials, Gen Y, born between 1980 and 2000, all flown the nest and beginning to make their way in the world of work (though, sadly, not yet achieving self-sufficiency).

When I enquired how Susie was getting on in advertising, the reply was surprising. “Oh, she’s not in advertising any more, she’s in Digital” responded her proud Mum. And you could practically hear the capital D.

Turned out that Susie is now with the digital arm of the ad agency that’s employed her since she left university.

Jane is an intelligent, educated woman. She has a demanding job, is active in local politics and uses digital channels (email, Twitter, Facebook) every day.

But once I’d explained the advertising/digital advertising confusion, and the conversation had broadened to the way technology is changing the world, something quite scary happened.

She didn’t care. It just wasn’t important to her. I don’t mean not Top Ten, I mean nowhere.

We marketing people spend man-years of time and talent pulling together targeted, co-ordinated and highly creative customer communications programmes.

And perhaps sometimes we get carried away with our own cleverness and assume a level of knowledge and interest that just isn’t there.

Customers will engage with what matters to them, not what matters to us. Close that gap, and the threshold doesn’t look so daunting.

Rod Hirsch is Global Director Brand and Content at Thunderhead. Joining the Thunderhead team in 2010, Rod has spearheaded the development of the Thunderhead voice, building the company’s brand strategy and content and bringing alive its vision and expertise in multi-channel customer engagement. With over 30 years in the business of building brands for B2B clients, Rod has combined strategic thinking and tactical implementation to deliver award-winning programmes for starts-ups and multinationals alike.