Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The dull roar

If you live near a freeway, it doesn't take long until the traffic noise fades away. If you drive past a beautiful mountain vista everyday on your way to work, pretty soon you don't even notice it. We're human. We get used to things, both good and bad, and they become ordinary. The same is true with marketing.

Ten years ago, we talked about people being exposed to 10,000 marketing messages a day, noticing 10 and remembering 3. I wonder what that number is now? With so much time being spent online, the dull roar of marketing is there from the moment we turn on our computers in the morning until we close our eyes at night. It has even invaded our social networks so that we wonder whether that movie recommendation from a friend was honest or was he somehow compensated. A recent study indicates that the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped by almost half, from 45% to 25%, since 2008. Peer to peer marketing has already become a part of the dull roar.

So how do we stand out? By surprising and delighting; by being and doing different. It starts at the core. Does your company and product have different built right into its very fabric like The Body Shop, Jones Soda or Credo Mobile? These are companies that stand out in their categories and draw people to them with their values as much as their products. And they prove that if you want to stand out from the crowd, you really have to be different.

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