5 Reasons Why Great Ideas Fall on Deaf Ears
Today I’m going to keep my promise from last week and explain why Prosper (through no fault of their own) completely missed my radar. After that I thought it would be helpful to list 5 reasons why your marketing efforts may be falling into the same trap. As with all future startup help, I will start with broad strokes before delving deeper week after week. If there are any topics you want to see covered specifically or in more detail, tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s No Secret–
We hear a lot of business ideas–it’s the best part of my job. Getting to listen to all the creative, audacious, and downright awe-inpiring innovations from all of you is why I get up every morning and eat my gluten-free wheaties, strap on my messenger bag and pedal to the CFM HQ.
That Being Said–
The sheer volume of concepts, business models, innovations, and strategies we hear also means that we’ve developed a keen sense for when an idea is just “good”, and when it is truly great. I stutter-stepped on Prosper, not because it isn’t a good idea–its a brilliant idea, and one that isn’t new– but because as a consumer, I’m conditioned to saying “no”.
Even if I was a goat farmer or an ostrich babysitter (that’s a real thing) and not involved in the startup world at all, I’d still come to the same decision. Not enough data–No need for future research. Thank Zorp, I came to my senses because they are actually pretty awesome.
So why are you getting passed on?
1. You’re Competing Against Deafening Noise.
Its a simple equation: We as a society produce 1000x more daily data than can possibly be consumed–and that’s if we spent every moment of every day solely reading, watching and digesting it all. The good news is, most of that content is entirely unimportant, non-critical and an overall big waste of time. Why is that good news? Well for you, it means that there is opportunity to produce something meaningful and actually have it taken seriously.
Each day, we create:
2. You’re the One Doing all the Talking.
Favorable messaging about your company should not have to come from your company. Period. Of course, you have nothing but the best things to say about you–everyone knows that, which means you instantly have no objectivity and no credibility. Besides, you should be spending the precious “content time” you have to anticipate your users needs and help them overcome difficulties (AHEM)–. The more valueless, me-centered posts you make, the more people tune-out.
Now take third party referrals (namely through the media, affiliates, influencers, etc.)–These channels perform exceedingly well–the more reputable that source, the more credible the message. This is the essential distinction between Public Relations and Advertising, and probably the most important factor why your Face-a-gram, Snapback and Goggles’R’us pages are each underperforming.
Instead: When you’re not talking about yourself all the time, you give others a chance to do the talking for you. Empower your community: customers, stakeholders, partners, and most of course, the media.
3. Click-bait, Buzzwords, ALL CAPS!, Corporate Speak.
THIS SUBJECT LINE WILL SAVE 1.5M LIVES. 80% OFF RETAIL, 1 DAY ONLY. CLICK HERE FOR AWESOME OFFER! How do you feel? Appreciated, valued as a human being, understood on a deep and cosmic level? How could you be?? If your intended audience is at least HALF as sophisticated and discerning as you are, messages like these will leave lasting scars–and not just for now – forever. An elephant never forgets.
Instead: Slow down, ignore the type-hype, and take this moment to think about how you prefer to be spoken to. Think of your favorite place to shop–why is your favorite place? How are you treated when you’re inside? Stop competing with your competition. Get out of the sandbox and start your own club.
4. You’re Not Newsworthy (yet).
This topic is far too expansive to cover as just a list item, but trust me, I plan to beat this to a pulp very, very soon. Basically, there is a immense shift of critical mass between a “Good” idea and “Great” one (thank you, Jim Collins). The great news is that, with proper positioning and storytelling, it’s relatively easy to become the latter. To get an idea of your Newsworthiness, we’ve put together a NewsScore beta–You can play with it for free here.
5. There’s Just No Value (yet).
Do you know who your audience really is? What are their real issues and concerns? What are their ambitions? What kind of cereal do they eat and why? And most of all, what problems of theirs can you address and fix WITHOUT them having to give you money? When you identify what these are, you can begin to create valuable content across all platforms: Blogs, emails, newsletters and even social. If not, you’re just keeping up with the Joneses–and the Joneses are out of business.
My promise is that we will revisit this topic of “value” soon. I wish I could just write, write, write all day, but apparently if I dont poke my head out of my office from time to time, people get worried.
So if I Were You-
And I recognized any of these behaviors as part of my own marketing strategy, I would stop what I was doing immediately and reach out for help. While CFM, as a company doesn’t specialize in every aspect of marketing, personally I study, research and speak on all areas of digital marketing and would be happy to provide some guidance. I do my best to get back to most responses, but here’s the way to guarantee I respond. 1) Send Short Emails 2) Have a clearly Defined Problem and 3) Propose a few options you’ve been kicking around.
Thanks for tuning in–and YES, these will get better and more robust as time goes on. Don’t give up on me just yet.