Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nothing Up My Sleeve

In Marketing gimmicks: Bending spoons and magic, Wayne Hurlbert writes:
Good marketers understand their products and services and their potential customers and clients. Just as the magician applies the laws of science to the various tricks, the savvy marketing person considers the needs and desires of the marketplace. Sometimes, that market requires the talents of the illusionist. Instead of the standard marketing techniques, a few gimmicks can be employed successfully.
At first I bristled. Yes, good marketers understand their product and their target market. But gimmicks? This is exactly the sort of negative stuff that makes the world mistrust and hate marketers. Slight of hand is not something I want associated with my work.

His specific suggestions are less upsetting though. And he does provide a warning:
Just as some people can see things up the magician's sleeve, so too can they see through a badly run marketing campaign. Care must be taken to perfect the art of spoon bending, and so too with gimmick marketing.
As Wayne says, "A successful gimmick marketing campaign can go viral in an instant, however. Be certain to be prepared for the global sales that result." Ditto that when it goes terribly, horribly, hideously wrong.

It is from those creative suggestions and his warnings that I do trust that what Wayne is really in favor of is a more creative approach to getting the attention of potential consumers, clients and fans. I do just wish he would avoid comparing marketing with the less honest (or cheesy) aspects of magic.

I really, perhaps naively, believe 'the wow factor' should come from the product/service itself and that the marketer's job is to find ways for those who would benefit from the product/service ~ even say "Wow!" about it ~ to know about it. That's the real marketing magic.

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