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Don’t Blame the Medium

If you have ever said, “I tried direct mail/phone calls/networking/etc., and it doesn’t work for my company/products,” maybe it wasn’t the medium’s fault. According to marketing guru Terri Langhans, founder of Blah Blah Blah Etc., Inc., it might be your messaging that is marring your campaign. After all, if your messaging is boastful, blatant or boring — along the lines of “Hey, look at me and what I’ve got” — then it is all about you and not about your prospect. And we all know which of the two it is that your prospect cares more about.

Langhans suggests building some intrigue into your message by posing a startling statement that demands clarification from the prospect’s brain. Think “headline” versus “title.” “The title of your program or offering rarely serves this purpose,” she says. “The same goes for your name and photo.” In the precious
few seconds you have to get the prospect’s attention, predictability is your enemy. If the person can figure out in a glance, “real estate agent” “consultant,” “office supplies,” why should he or she bother reading further or listening longer?

And when it comes to emotion in your marketing, remember, it is not about showing an emotion or talking about an emotion. Your marketing should make someone feel an emotion. Get the prospect to smile, laugh, gasp, ponder, choke up or even wince. Connect to an emotion before you try so hard to convince.
Great marketing for a beverage doesn’t describe the drink or tell you why it tastes good. It makes you thirsty. Your marketing can — and should — do the same.