1. Talking about what you’re interested in instead of what your customers are interested in.
Your services or products may be the best thing since sliced bread. But, if you don’t stop to check if your potential customer is interested you’ll only be imposing your message on them instead of being persuasive, kind of like annoying uncle Joey does in a cocktail party.
2. Talking At your customers instead of To them.
It’s a subtle but significant difference, directly related to the previous issue. You know what it’s like when someone treats you as a number instead of as a human being. Don’t do that to your customers. Chances are your message is really important and useful. But it won’t come across that way if you don’t first acknowledge the human being on the other end of the conversation.
The vast majority of advertising and branding efforts (newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, shopping bags, java jackets, etc.) wind up becoming litter. Apart from some people’s bad manners, this points out an important fact that all advertisers would do good to acknowledge — particularly eco-minded advertisers — your message is not important to most people; they’ve got their own lives they’re paying very close attention to. The solution? Make it important by applying the 1st and 2nd solutions (above) to your messaging. Additionally, strive to make all of your marketing or advertising efforts something that your customers would prefer to keep, to hang onto, even pin on their walls, rather than throwing away. Not only does that minimize the production of litter, in a modest way, it extends the effectiveness of your communication efforts. Before you launch your next marketing or advertising effort, ask yourself, ”Would I keep this, or wear this, or hang this on my wall?“
4. Too much information.
Because so many advertisers make the first and second mistakes they wind up throwing information, plain data, at their potential customers in the form of a list of features and benefits (that may or may not be of interest or relevant) as well as obnoxiously repeating their toll-free number or their URL, assuming that this is good marketing. It’s not. It’s obnoxious. You don’t like it when it’s done to you. Don’t do it to them. The solution? Apply the first two rules and you’ll find yourself tailoring your message and the amount of information more carefully, creating a much more effective communication.
5. Not enough information.
For the same reason as stated in Mistake 4 some advertisers leave out really important information, information that would actually interest their potential customers and that they would have included if they’d just stopped to consider whom they’re talking to. Instead of presenting a menu of information or a single fact that you think is important, stop and consider whom you’re talking to and that will help you craft a much smarter and more effective message.