What do marketing and gravity have in common?
If gravity were a small business marketing or advertising campaign it would be extraordinarily successful by anyone’s measure. After all, gravity boasts a 100% success rate of accelerating absolutely everything on Earth at exactly 9.8 meters/second2 towards the planet’s surface. That’s a conversion rate any marketer would be insanely jealous of.
Many of us also know, whether consciously or subconsciously what the generally bad marketing ideas are. But, somehow, many business owners think that despite an almost certainly poor outcome that they will be the ones to make it work, that they will defy gravity and take flight against unbelievable odds.
I can’t defy gravity outside of an airplane, helicopter, or hot air balloon. And neither can you.
Time was, that salespeople would walk around with a short stack of trifolds neatly tucked inside their jacket pockets and carried a briefcase full of collateral everywhere they went. But times have changed. Now we have websites, mobile applications, blogs and search engines, all of which have made the traditional sales brochure all but obsolete.
When I make this argument in meetings or at seminars a few people will almost always challenge me, telling me how important traditional collateral is to their business. So I’ll ask them how many sales brochures they’ve received in the course of their lives in the last week or two.
The answer is usually somewhere between 10 and 20 brochures.
So then I’ll ask how many of those 10-20 brochures they have actually read. Then their whole facial expression changes.
For all of us who receive scores of other people’s marketing materials every month but never read them — which is pretty much all of us — why would we ever assume that we’re going to be the exception to the rule? That somehow my trifold is going to be more relevant than everyone else’s, that I’m going to be the one who gets to fly like Superman while everyone else is stuck using their feet.
The argument is completely irrational. If you don’t read other people’s collateral you should enter with the assumption that no one will read yours either. So why waste time and money producing it?