Sometimes I think I would be a brilliant marketer. I would make ads that delight and persuade. Sales would be good. No. Sales would be great. Then I see something like this and realize I know nothing about what works in advertising.
At least, I forget what works all the time since what works is so simple.
I was at the drugstore over Christmas break picking up a prescription. In addition to our string of bad luck with household items, some of us had a stomach virus and I had a sinus infection. While waiting for the prescription, I saw this packaging:
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? 100% MORE! (than our other package size)
This type of packaging is equivalent to saying:
4!!! Now TWICE as much! *as the number 2.
I’m always amazed, and then reminded, that much of marketing is simply stating what something is. Listing the component parts on packaging convinces people to buy. It doesn’t even have to list features that are different or better than another product. This works well in restaurant menus. The dish appears much more interesting and delicious if the description is, well, descriptive.
I thought of two lessons from this. First, the obvious one:
Think Before You Buy
This always applies, but maybe this will remind you to think and not get pulled in by the packaging and advertising. The primary point of packaging is to get you to buy the product, not to hold the product. Think about how often medicine comes in a large box, but only consists of a small bottle. Think about the size of a DVD box compared to the disc. Ask yourself, how is the marketing affecting my logical comparison of the item to another item? How does it compare to not buying at all? That’s the most important question. What if I don’t need this at all?
Remind Everyone What You Are
On the other side of this equation is the marketer. You are your own marketer everyday. Your family, network, boss, and coworkers need to be reminded on a regular basis what you are. They need to be reminded what skills you bring to the table. Simply stating it is the minimum required most times to keep yourself within someone’s consciousness.
I wouldn’t walk up to someone and say “I’m an engineer” and walk away. I would remind them what I have done in that capacity (in a contextually appropriate way). Everyone needs to be reminded what you are and what you are capable of doing, including yourself.
People are busy. They’re thinking of the problems that they need to solve right now and in the immediate future. You might be able to help, but not if they forgot that you are able.
I’ll try some convincing for this site.
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