maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

we see the world incorrectly: truth #1

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences.  in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together.  you can check out the entire series here.  for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.  

truth #1: we’re not the only ones in the room

in advertising, often the creative executions we develop to speak to our audiences are done with the assumption that we will be talking to them in a vacuum.  we imagine, or subconsciously assume, that we will be the only ones in the room and that, like good little boys and girls, when it is our time to talk our consumers will give us their full attention and listen to everything we have to say (what else would one expect when they have a captive audience).  simply put, we speak to our audiences as if our tv spot, print ad, web application, event, product, or idea is the only one on the market.  

the reality is: we are not the only ones in the room.  in fact, the room is quite crowded.  advertising executions not only compete within medium (commercials compete with other commercials and television programming) but across time and other mediums (thanks youtube).  advertising competes with everything fighting for your audiences’ attention, which means the laptop, the screaming kids, the school assignment due first thing in the morning, the cell phone, the dvr, the twenty other restaurants on the street, and the list goes on and on.

are your marketing communications developed with an acknowledgement that they will have to compete once they are in the market?  or, do you just fool yourself by thinking everything you do is great because it looks cool or because someone internally thinks it is clever?  or perhaps you think it’s great because the client finally said they love it or the research results that were tested behind closed doors in a quiet room (that’s how you usually experience advertising isn’t it?) said it will move the needle.  the reality is, getting it through the internal review is the easy part, competing in the real marketplace is a completely different story.

life: this truth holds for our personal lives as well.  we aren’t the only ones trying to get the job at google in a down economy, asking our boss for a promotion, seeking the attention of that certain young lady or applying to business school in the fall.  in a vacuum, that grad school application looks great because you spent four years doing consulting; however, if you forget that the application right after yours may come from a serial entrepreneur with a story that proves they will be the best alumni the school has ever graduated than your current approach may not set you up to win.  if you knew your competition had 5 years experience leading teams in iraq how would you alter your story to convince admissions that you were a necessity to the incoming class?  how would you ensure that after a long day of reading 50 applications yours would stand out and demand their attention?  after all, it’s 7pm and your app is probably competing with the screaming kids…

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, personal branding, , , , ,

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