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Nobody Cares, and Other Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn't Working

We spend a lot of time here at GEM talking about approaching our messaging from multiple perspectives.

Nobody Cares, and Other Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn't Working

Posted Saturday March 19th, 2016 by in Analysis + Strategy.

What a negative, offensive headline to kickoff a blog article! But sadly, even though it's an awful thing to say, it's nonetheless often true - and here's why.

Let's talk about perspective - namely, the perspective of a marketer. We spend a lot of time here at GEM talking about approaching our messaging from multiple perspectives. But make no mistake, there is one perspective that matters more than any other, and that's the perspective of the customer.

Is this a new reality brought on by a growing Millennial generation? No. Is it a remarkable, data-driven outcome that we only now see because of our digital capabilities? Nope. It's just a staple of communications that every marketer should know intrinsically, as a defining characteristic of our craft.

But alas, marketing teams everywhere somehow miss this mark every, single, day. So, you ask, why does this happen?

From what we've seen throughout B2B and B2C companies in three states and two countries, it's not that marketers forget to consider the consumer perspective, it's that they must prioritize another perspective over that of the consumer. Who's perspective? I bet you already know the answer: management's.

Often, I remind our creative teams that - in the real world in which we live - they don't just have one audience, they have at least two: first, our client's customer, and second, our client. We still must list those two perspectives in that order, because our onus is to grow businesses through finding more of their best customers (first), and get excellent creative approved by management teams (second) to accomplish the first objective in the first place.

Lest you think this is an epidemic to a certain kind of business, you'd be wrong. We see this affliction affect medium and large companies, B2B and B2C, in many geographies. And lest you think this issue is a function of bad management, you'd also be incorrect. It's not that C-suite executives aren't good at their jobs, it's that they often are good at their jobs - but their jobs have nothing to do with having marketing expertise.

So let's go back to why nobody cares, and define who "nobody" is. "Nobody" is your target customer, and they usually don't care about your brand's messaging because your brand's messaging isn't geared towards them, it's geared towards your management team. Given that the messaging is based on the wrong perspective to begin with, it's easy to see how marketing attempts miss the mark and produce miserable results.

To get your potential customers caring about your value proposition, you must write for them and place messages where they are. Once you adhere to this most basic of marketing tenets, your chances of success rise 100% or more; that's not a typo, just a function of the fact that bad messaging in bad places will always yield no results (or close to it)!

So let's all agree to care more - not about your product or your service or your company, but about your customers. Put their perspective ahead of anyone else's, and get your marketing working again. The best part is that nobody has to guess at understanding your customer's perspective; all you have to do is ask!


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