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Deadly Marketing Sin #1: Thou shalt not bore me!

According to The Digital Marketing Institute, 48% of marketing messages are boring!
In other words, half of the marketing messages we all put out in the world make your potential customers yawn. We’re wasting our budget and resources on marketing messages that don’t resonate!

This brings us to…

Deadly Marketing Sin #1: Thou shalt not bore the s*** out of me!

It’s a pretty simple place to start, but we’re all guilty of this…

So, let’s take a step back.

I still remember the scene from the 1992 movie ‘Philadelphia’ where Denzel Washington’s character is grilling one of the witnesses on the stand about why Tom hanks’ character was their best lawyer one day, and then the next he was their worst and they fired him.

He kept saying, “Explain this to me like I’m a 2-year-old”. It’s such a powerful perspective that forces you to get right to the point of what you’re trying to explain.

This is also the starting question to your marketing success.

In the book “Play Bigger” (I highly recommend it by the way), one of the authors, as part of a Venture Capital pitch day, asks all of the pitch presenters:

“Can you explain to me like I’m a five-year-old, what problem you are trying to solve?”

I dare you to have a go. Spend some time digesting this and applying it to your own business. It’s certainly a challenge, but one that brings amazing rewards when you get it right.

Seth Godin puts it another way, “What change do you want to make in the world?”

This shifts your perspective from the way things are being done now to the way they should be done in the future. Making a change is done by addressing a specific problem or challenge that people face. Your challenge is to provide the best solution to this specific problem.

Why answer these questions?

1. It helps you develop your value proposition.

This approach requires a very different thought process to get to the true essence of why your business exists, and how you can market your business better than your competitors.


2. It gives you an intimate knowledge of ‘who’ you serve.
As you drill down you will get a clearer vision of the problem you are solving – and who has it. Here’s a hint, it’s not ‘everybody’ or ‘females aged 18-60’. It is a specific group of people with a specific problem.

3. It helps you simplify the complex.
When you communicate with a two- or five-year-old, you don’t bring your ego. You don’t bring big words or industry jargon. You talk plainly and get to the point quickly – because they have no attention span for fluff, logic, or long explanations. Your target audience is no different.

4. It makes the simple, compelling
When people see that you understand the problem they are facing and that you ‘get’ them, your messaging gets far more compelling. You start understanding their pain, talking their language and offering more relevant solutions.

5. It helps sell the problem, not the solution
Usually, we focus on selling the solution. But selling features and benefits straight up doesn’t work. You need to sell the problem. Get your audience uncomfortable. Make them see why the problem is so big they can’t ignore it anymore. Then tell them how to solve it.

A business exists to solve a problem.

So, what problem are you solving? And explain it to me like I’m a 5-year-old. It’s time for a much more attractive marketing message. So reach out to yours truly an let’s start refining a more interesting proposition that engages better with your potential customers.

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