Be prepared before barging in.

The problem with modern marketing isn’t shrinking budgets, rapidly changing technologies or ever-evolving media channels.

No. The problem is people–– they just won’t do what we want them to.

It’s crazy! Don’t they know about our brilliant strategies? Our innovative use of media chasing and finding them? Don’t they appreciate our clever messages?

No. The ingrates.

Apparently, people are too busy living their lives to care about our professional lives trying to sell them stuff and points of view.

So before you do anything, marketer, ask yourself a couple simple questions (answer them truthfully, or prepare to fail):

  1. Who are you are trying to influence? Describe the person, not a demographic.
  2. That person is currently doing something that makes her/him happy (or at least satisfied)–– why should she/he care about what you have to say?
  3. How is your product or service going to make her/his life better, more emotionally enriching?
  4. Why should he/she believe you? Be honest, their B.S. detectors are always set to HIGH.
  5. Now, what do you want that person to do–– providing you’ve piqued some interest.

There. Five black and white questions that must be answered before you get to the really hard part–– how to pique interest with your message in a meaningful way, and where to engage her/him.

Forget the shortcuts, fool’s gold fads and idealistic dreams that people will do what you want just so the company can make its quarterly numbers. Everyone is the hero in her/his movie, and you, well, you’re just an interruption. Sorry.

So what are you going to do to make your disruption into their lives worthwhile?

Because here’s the ugly truth about marketing in the 21st century: humanity trumps technology, every time.

Mother's Tears

Throughout the history of humanity, I doubt anything has had the emotional power of affecting a person as much as seeing one’s mother cry.

Recall a time when you saw your mother cry. Close your eyes. That image is still there, forever burnished into your consciousness. How did it make you feel?





Probably all of them.

Why does seeing your mother cry have so much power? Because she’s the one who gave you life. The one who was (and is) so strong.

She was your teacher, counselor, motivational spark, cheerleader, drill instructor and #1 fan.

To see your mother cry is to see all that you know and trust in the world collapse. It’s your pillar of strength showing weakness.

Seeing your mother cry is undeniable proof that we are all vulnerable, all susceptible to pain, suffering and grief.

We are all human. Even superwomen. Even moms.

On this Mother’s Day, make your mom happy. Spread her joy, her love and the precious gift of life she gave you. Do her proud and show that her gift pays dividends.

And if your mother has left our world, remember her smile and her spirit. That is a reward you’ll cherish all your life.

(A reminder that your target audiences are not demographics. They are people, and despite our differences, we are all the same–– the daughters and sons of mothers. Treat your audience as your mom taught you: with compassion, dignity and respect. Marketers must ensure their messages bring something of value to people, demonstrate the product’s relevance to improving life, or suffer the consequences of being ignored.)

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