maximum potential

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it’s time to grow up, shouting doesn’t work: truth #2

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 #2: it’s time to grow up, shouting doesn’t work

as humans, we want attention.  when we speak, we want others to listen.  we want to be heard.  after all, we are important aren’t we?

in reality, brands are no different.  and like little kids who have yet to fully mature, when brands don”t get the attention they so desperately want (think they deserve) they yell.  and if that doesn’t work, they yell louder by launching a new campaign, increasing their tv buy, or dialing up their print ad executions.  after all, who doesn’t pay attention when someone is yelling.  the problem with yelling is that it doesn’t work.  besides the fact that people get annoyed, they also get used to it.  pretty soon it all becomes part of environment and we block it out.

the reality: shouting may have worked a few decades ago when there were only two of you competing for attention, the cost of publishing was not zero, and information could not travel as fast because there was no internet or social media. but those days are a thing of the past.  you can shout all you want, but your listeners are not listening because they are immune to those who talk at them instead of with them.

consequently, it’s time to grow up.  it’s time to stop yelling and shouting and learn to use your grown up words.  it’s time to join the adult conversation.  if you don’t, you will miss opportunities to join the dialogue that all of the other adults are already having about you…without you.

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

3 Responses

  1. nouvellenegresse says:

    so, should marketing become more of a display of active listening, then insightful talking. By this I mean, instead of telling the customer what you think they want or need, you ask them what what their needs are and why, with genuine human interest, and not just capitalistic aim.

    os is that just too idealistic?

  2. Claudia S. says:

    Well, this is true for some…but what of those brands that attempt to speak to audiences not yet immune to shouting?

    What of the teen demographic who have yet to fully develop their affinities for particular brands, and who, to some degree, are used to being talked AT, and not TO?

    We know that brands are not “supposed to” target this demo, but they do. And for many, it is crucial to the survival of their brand. What voice do you suggest brands use in this case?

    Just playing devil’s advocate.

    • Detavio says:

      claudia s.~
      thanks for the comment. i love your thinking but i could not disagree more. i think that if there is anyone brands should not shout at it’s teens. here are a couple of reasons:

      1. the explosion of the digital/interactive space gives marketers a chance to talk with their target like never before and, given that teens are typically digital natives and have lived in this space since the day of their birth, marketers should take advantage of that.

      2. teens don’t know the world of 2 brands, no choice, and the corporation that sits high upon the hill and does what it wants. they have always had a plethora of options, access to the long tail, and a belief that if enough of them pull together they can bring any corporation to their knees. consequently, teens are more likely to believe that you have to listen to them and speak with them because that is all they know. they are used to being able to customized their shoes, make suggestions for change at starbucks, and now even make recommendations to the president of the united states of america.

      if there is anyone you should talk with and not at it’s teens.

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