Advertising: When Is Enough, Enough?

In most cases, I would tell people to never stop finding new creative ways to communicate with their customer, but the key word in this statement is “with,” and if it becomes interchangeable with the word “to” then you should have shut up a long time ago.

Ever get into a conversation with someone, and no matter how hard you try, there is just no polite way to indicate they are babbling on about something you have absolutely no interest in? Or, even worse, they keep going on trying to explain the same concept in as many ways they can think of, but are incapable of making sense? You’re stuck having to just be rude; telling them you have to go get your cat out of the dryer, or pickup your grandma from work. That’s what I’m talking about, so don’t be that guy.

Communication is a two way street, and so is advertising. Traditional media (radio, television, direct mail, etc.) has created a rut for how companies think they need to communicate their message; bombardment. They think the only way to win over a new customer is to control the conversation, and the most common tactic is to not answer questions. Instead, they respond by saying whatever they want the customer to hear, and just keep on talking to them instead of with them.

But the truth of the matter is this: If you have what they want, they’ll talk about it. Go out and tell people what you’re doing; tell them why you’re awesome, and why they need to work with you. But, know when to shut up; know when enough is enough. No one wants to converse with a person who does all the talking, and no one wants to buy from someone who never listens to what they need.

Apply this to everything your company does. No mater what the distribution channel used to get your message out there is, know when to stop talking and start listening; when to take down the billboard, and put up an email address; turn off auto-responders, and start responding; meet people, talk with them.