What’s marketing got to do with a crowded station? What is pulse marketing, why is it totally rubbish, and are you guilty of it? If you want to improve your marketing, getting better leads into your practice, stop any pulse marketing you are doing.
The crowded station
Two weeks ago travelling home from skiing, I was stuck in a crowded station. Bored, and walking round the packed station (train an hour late) I heard my name called, so I turned round, and my pulse quickened. I was intrigued and interested (that’s natural). But, I saw nobody I knew and looked some more. Nobody was even looking at me! Disappointed I realised they must have been looking for somebody else called Jon (or even John).
A few minutes later I heard somebody call for “Peter”, I took no notice (obviously).
Then two more occasions when different people called out for Jon. My emotions went through excitement, to disappointment, to getting fed up with even hearing my name. This is exactly what pulse marketing does!
What is pulse marketing?
Three discussions last week about ‘how to improve your marketing in a small firm’ all led to the same, very common, place. In these strange contorted discussions the firm’s owner explained how good their marketing was, then went on to try and justify the ‘targeting’ of their marketing. The target was, it turned out, anybody in business that has a pulse.
Most discussions like this then lead to a set of reasons about why their marketing is targeted at anybody in business, because…..they do business with anybody.
What’s actually wrong with pulse marketing?
The intention of all marketing is to get people to react, so that they show interest/ pick up the phone/ click and sign up/ move their relationship with you onto the next stage (whatever that may be – read the buying process for more thoughts on that).
A bad piece of marketing either:
- doesn’t get heard by people (a bit like when I heard Peter being called).
- gets unwarranted attention (like when my name was called in the station). This ends up leaving people disappointed because it wasn’t for them, it didn’t look as good as they thought it was, or it wasn’t what they expected.
Good marketing is seen (heard) by somebody who then realises that it is for them, because it describes their issues/ problems/ desires etc. The more closely aligned the description with their issues/ problems/ desires are, the more the person you want will react in the way you want. Imagine if instead of hearing “Jon” in the station, I heard my full name.
Why do so many small professional firms do it?
There is a belief that in shouting a lot, somebody will listen. They will, but like me in the station, they will then turn away and get frustrated.
Many small professional firms want to improve their marketing results, and think the answer is to appeal to more and more people. As a result their message becomes blander, and blander, so it appeals to less and less people. As a result of being bland it doesn’t turn anybody away, but doesn’t attract them either.
How to improve your marketing
Who do you want to deal with and how do they describe their issues/ problems/ desires. Find out more about them, create a buyer persona and then talk about those issues.