Decoding Technology Marketing
Nick Louie loves exploring the art of storytelling to turn complex ideas and elusive values into a palpable, compelling message.
"But enough about me, tell me about yourself."
Think back to a first date you've been on—you probably uttered this phrase or something like it, trying to learn about the person's background, their inspirations, what makes them tick...or maybe you said it to get the spotlight off you. Believe it or not, marketing warrants a similar approach.
It's difficult to ask someone about themself without being face to face. Yet when it comes to marketing, the most profound, affecting stories get to the heart of what your audience cares about, helping ensure that your offering tugs at their heart strings.
I like to think of marketing being akin to matchmaking, with new campaigns often like speed dating. When you're face to face, you have the opportunity to ask your date questions, giving you the insight to share what you have in common. In marketing you don't have the luxury of asking them face to face. Even with the most thorough market research and detailed analytics, you won’t know everything about your target audience.
But that's okay. You're an educated guesser. They're people. People are emotional. People have personality, and character. And so do you.
I’m not The Love Doctor but when it comes to tugging on your audiences' heart strings, I've picked up on some reasonable guidelines. Here are a few you can take to heart:
- Audiences want you to be real with them. Wear your heart on your sleeve to let your offering's story shine. Whether your offering is established or new, audiences come to the table with preconceived notions. For instance, Internet Explorer clicked the proverbial refresh button--and made an endearing case for amends with disaffected 20- and 30-something Internet users--in their Child of the 90's video. Your audience doesn't want to play games or waste time. Be a straight shooter and give them the real you.
- Audiences want excitement. On some level everyone likes adventure. Does your offering excite? Does your story challenge your audience to blaze a trail with you? One example that swept me off my feet and made my wrist want to be dazzled is Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch campaign. Because let's face it: when a technological fantasy that spans generations becomes reality, audiences' inner adventurer takes notice. Find what makes your offering exciting and different.
- Audiences want to laugh and be charmed. Granted, not everyone wants a relationship with a stand-up comedian, but a sense of humor does wonders to break the ice. AT&T has captivated a lot of people with the help of an SNL-cast-member-turned-mediator and some unabashed elementary schoolers in their "It's not complicated" campaign. To think of it another way, if your offering was a person, would people want to have a drink with it? The story your offering tells is its personality. Why not be charming?
Keep these guidelines in mind when you're telling your story. In a crowded market, what you're offering is only as good as how you're offering it. Don't forget to flaunt your character.