"The most common trouble with advertising is that it tries too hard to impress people."
- James Randolph AdamsThis was taken from an email I received today from MarketingPower.com. I enjoy this newsletter because it brings me fresh info on important topics, such as upcoming marketing webcasts and whitepapers. Additionally, it offers up all sorts of information in areas incuding advertising, B2B marketing, internet marketing, and more.
Back to the quote. I have been thinking a lot about B2B advertising lately. Indium is introducing several new products, and is entering some new markets. Advertising is playing a critical part in introducing ourselves, as well as depicting the performance of the things we hope to sell.
At times like these I like to "begin at the end". In other words, I like to implement goal-oriented project management. When "beginning at the end" of such projects, I always define the target customer, the individual who I want to affect. Almost always, in my B2B Marcom world, that person is a highly-technical, educated individual. My experience tells me that these technologists disdain overblown collateral information and prefer facts.
Technologists are comfortable with facts. They seek facts. They are trained to sift through, and organize, facts, enabling them to make their own conclusions and decisions. I believe that one of the worst mistakes a technologist can make is to be duped by persuasive Marcom, leading to a sub-optimal decision. Therefore, one of the worst mistakes a B2B Marcom practitioner can make is to "try too hard to impress people."
That said, if an ad combines a meaningful message with excellent graphic design elements, then we really have a winner on our hands. I am not minimizing the role of good design. It, too is important. But, in my B2B arena, customers are tecchies. A good design may be a sheet of graph paper. Without data/facts, even the most beautiful ad or collateral piece is of little value.
What we need to know is that our target audience can NEVER be impressed with us (Marcom practitioners). They don't want us. They will only be impressed with good product performance and customer service. Facts, not flowing verbiage and swirling colors, are the only way to impress the target audience.
Image: emergencyfans website