Earlier in my career, when I was creative director at a major B2B hot shop, I had a presentation that I gave to clients and ad clubs in other cities. The presentation revolved around a tall clear acrylic box filled with 1,500 clear plastic beads and seven red beads. At the beginning of my talk, I would pass the canister around and ask people to find the seven red beads.
The task was impossible because as people rotated and shook the container to move the beads around, they lost sight of the red beads they had just found. No one ever found all seven.
The game illustrated a statistic from a respected marketing journal that said the average American consumer was exposed to between 1,500 and 2,000 separate advertising impressions a day. That was anything with a brand name attached to it – a billboard, a radio spot or even a label on a soda can. Of those, the consumer remembered only seven.
Everybody loved the game. But the point was to show how hard it is to stand out in a busy marketplace. If I did the trick today, I’d need a much bigger box because with 180 million active websites plus a gazillion social media sites and endless email marketing, there are so many more clear beads in our sensory-overloaded world.
So, what are 5 good ways to increase your chances of a being a red bead?
1. Spend more time where your prospects spend their time. Is it social media? Post more often. In the car commuting? Run radio. You get the idea.
2. Optimize your website so people will find it and make it worth their time to stay once they get there by engaging them.
3. Engage your prospects by caring about them and what they care about. Remember they are people before they are customers. Be likable. People do business with brands they like.
4. Don’t bore them with features and benefits till you’ve engaged them. To stand out, you have to stand for something. An example is last year’s lovable “Le Holiday Feast” from Freshpet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhg7Xm4FXAY. People who buy premium pet food love their pets like family. Right on, Freshpet!
5. To create marketing communications that stand out, hire people who know what they’re doing. A lot of people out there don’t.
Next time, I’ll give you five more ways to be a red bead.