Think it Through

As marketers, it’s our job to get inside people’s heads to figure out how to attract their attention and then match our product/service’s attributes to their needs. We spend a lot time thinking about what triggers and what impedes actions. How does a prospect go from awareness, to consideration, to selection? A new Comcast ad is a good reminder to THINK through your value proposition to see if it will make any sense, or throw up red flags.

The ad touts Comcast’s DVR service and its ability to be programmed remotely through a PC, phone, or mobile device. Then it offers an iPod Touch as an incentive to new subscribers. Unfortunately, IMMEDIATELY after that offer comes the disclaimer. That disclaimer says, “Service not compatible with iPod Touch”.

Huh?

You’re promoting a feature, and then offering an incentive that probably should, but doesn’t actually work with this feature? Would you be pushing new left-handed golf clubs, only to follow-up with the condition that they’re not available to left-handed people?

This seems so basic. At some point, you need to step back (or find an outside perspective) and look at your approach. Do all the elements fit together? Is anything going to cause the prospect to make that funny *dog head tilt* when they hear it? If so, then change it.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

A teammate and I have been discussing respect and professional courtesy lately. Things we would have both thought common courtesy seem to have fallen by the wayside with more regularity lately. This seems to mostly happen in new business situations. And I’m not talking about outbound cold-calling. By this, I mean situations where we’ve been asked for a proposal or request for information (RFI) response.

For example, a prospect called recently looking to meet. After a lengthy meeting, I delivered a customized proposal. After e-mailing it, as instructed, NOTHING. No acknowledgement, no thank-you, zip.

Another prospective client asked for our help in developing a strategic plan. We put together a comprehensive proposal and media overview. At which point, the contact vanished. Multiple e-mails and voice mails later, nothing. So I throw the Hail Mary pass with the “Did we offend you?” message. This gets a response of, “Oh, we decided to go with a PR firm. I thought I told you that.” Well, since I never got a return voice mail, nor e-mail (and yes, I did check my Spam file) I’m thinking you didn’t.

If you’re talking to prospective service providers, keep something in mind –  these proposals don’t write themselves. We allocate precious time to deliver a response that meets your business needs. Yes, it’s a competitive economy and we value every lead, but that doesn’t mean you should all drop civility and processional courtesy. If you’re talking to so many potential partners that you can’t take a moment to respond, you’re evaluating too many anyway.