Three marketing myths and a solution to your lacklustre results

Weak marketing irritates me because more than likely the marketer was being lazy and risk averse. There’s three myths that many marketers follow and they need to stop.

1. Marketing should make someone want to buy. False. It’s not about triggering a buying transaction, it’s about triggering FOMO, fear of missing out. You do this by telling stories and helping to build a desire to be involved with your brand. Weak marketers focus on calls to action that ask people to buy. That’s lazy. It’s not about trickery, it’s about creating a genuine need to not miss out because working with your brand or using your product is the cat’s meow. BMW does a great job of this as does search retargeting firm Chango.

Ask yourself, “What does your customer fear missing out on?” Build stories and content around the answer to that question.

2. Customers need to understand features and how ‘it’ works. False. All you need to do is share benefits. Inherently we buy first based on emotion and benefits. It comes down to how I will feel when using your product. I am bombarded by emails, websites and advertising that tell me how a product or service works, only causing irritation. The best marketers focus on how I will feel, the problem that will be solved and the emotions that will be revealed once I use or implement their features. Apple is by far the best at this but so is TOMS Shoes or the web analytics company KISSmetrics.

3. Don’t upset customers or prospects. False. If your marketing is set up to appease people the result will be indifference and indifference is what you must avoid at all costs. Stop being safe. Safe is weak and irritating. Marketing is about taking chances, being different and making the consumer feel something, anything, even if it’s animosity. American Apparel does this well (we’ll see if this changes with Dov Charney’s departure), as does Tesla, Red Bull, Google and Amazon. Look at their direct competitors and compare the marketing. Who is more controversial, who takes more risks.

We need to control our flaws and develop our weaknesses. My irritability is a flaw, I work to control my grumpiness. Being a lazy and risk averse marketer is a weakness and we develop our skill of creating marketing that is based on FOMO, focuses on the emotional benefits and contains just the right amount of risk.