Why Your Marketing Needs To Be Cool

“60% of customers have a negative opinion of marketing.”

–Yankelovich Partners

cat disgustThere’s a classic scene in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson’s character yells to the woman holding up the diner, “[Yolanda], be cool!” (Only he substitutes a disparaging word for females in place of ‘Yolanda,’ but we can sacrifice accuracy in the name of keeping it clean.)

How does Jules Winnifeld’s angry exclamation relate to marketing? You think that your marketing is doing just fine. You might be right, but chances are, you’re wrong … at least according to a customer survey from Yankelovich Partners via Marketo. Be warned: Are you ready for some negativity?

What Customers Think About Marketing

  • 60% of customers have a negative opinion of marketing.
  • 65% feel bombarded.
  • 61% feel it’s out of control.
  • 59% feel marketing has very little relevance.

Debbie Downer takeaway
If these stats don’t give you a chill, I suggest you pinch yourself to see if you’re alive. Let’s examine the words and their implications: bombard, negative, very little relevance, out of control. A majority feel negative about marketing. Customers generally get too much of it and don’t perceive the relevance.

If they’re not seeing how marketing relates to them, then you have failed as a marketer. Can’t blame the customer for how she feels; take some responsibility for the type and frequency of communication you offer. Do your customers dread hearing from you, or do they get excited by what you offer them? A little soul-searching and analysis should reveal the answer.

But wait, there may be a bright side (I wouldn’t depress you like that!). All marketers should read these numbers every now and then to remind themselves that their messages are only as good as their audiences think they are. It might be bitter medicine to swallow, but information abundance (if not pollution) and your customers’ feelings are the reality. And when you fight reality, you usually lose.

Be cool
Bottom line? Don’t push, bombard, interrupt or otherwise make yourself irrelevant. Busy people don’t have time for your clever antics and slick sales pitches (at least not until they know you and/or have become sufficiently interested on their own). Remember, that’s not just my opinion; that’s what customers have actually said. So, take a cue from Samuel L. Jackson and make sure you’re cool in how you communicate with prospects and fans alike.

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Image courtesy of Jsome1 via Flickr.

Paul Richlovsky

About Paul Richlovsky

Paul purposefully merges a creative writing and teaching background with his decade-long marketing career. He advises clients on content strategy, editorial direction and PR/distribution. He is a perpetual critical thinker who has written/edited hundreds of blog posts and multiple long-form marketing guides, including those aimed at audiences as varied as healthcare, higher education, financial services, B2C brands and manufacturing. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon."He gets really excited about the science of elite performance, usability, brand voice, headlines, digital governance, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.

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