Use The (Weak) Force!

“I just saw what we spent on marketing in the last quarter, show me some results now!”

You want to see results and understandably so. You just spent a significant portion of your budget on marketing, money that could’ve been spent on upgrading your I.T. or replacing those uncomfortable chairs in the office.

Well, it’s unlikely you’re going to see those results.

It may seem like I should start writing my own resignation letter… or that my superiors are getting ready to inform me of ‘structural changes within the company’ – but follow this train of thought for a second.

People, however, are not machines predictably responding to your ‘inputs’ – your increase in marketing spend may not have a proportional and quantifiable result.  But that doesn’t mean wasted marketing dollars.  Your marketing efforts may have achieved underlying psychological results that will be extremely important at purchase time… whenever that may be.

Some like to believe that marketing is a strong force – ‘You will hear my message, be convinced and purchase my widget!’ This is not the case. If it were, we’d all be voting for the political party that figured it out. We had a hung parliament last election, so I could probably say something about our current Prime Minister and there’d be a 50% chance you’d disagree.the-force-is-strong

Instead, marketing is a weak force. Why on earth did you spend all that money on a weak force? Because marketing works as a weak force. Consumers enter an information-laden lifeworld, filled with their own complex personalities and perspectives. It is marketing’s job to gently niggle in a message about your business into that lifeworld. Then, when the stars almost align, if the consumer knows what your company does, knows that you’ll do it reliably and, hey, thinks your company is ‘a good bloke’… you’ll get a purchase.

Skimp on marketing at your own peril. You have competitors engaging in this exact same process. Instead, make marketing work as a weak force:

● engage then sell

● aim for long-term market goals instead of sales spikes

● and communicate one thing at one time.

That last point is perhaps the most pertinent. As a copywriter for Messages On Hold, I sometimes speak with clients that wish to include a lot of information in a single message. I understand, you want to get your money’s worth, but a complex message that’s hard to remember is worthless compared to a simple message that sticks. If it’s not easy, you’ve lost them.

It may feel like a leap, but spend as much time and money as you can to keep your business in the minds of your target consumers (not on hammering home information), then at purchase time… you might just win out over the competition.

– Jakub