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Attracting Attention

People often ask me what’s the secret to getting the full attention of their target market. “How do I get noticed above all the noise of other advertisers?” After all, the market place is getting more and more crowded by the minute. How do I stand out? How do I rise above the noise?

Being Ignored

On average, we are exposed to 10,000 branding and marketing messages per day. It’s a staggering number. You can conclude for yourself that most of these are ignored. We simply block out all of these extraneous messages.

Children and dogs are the only ones who are fully transparent about ignoring and turning a deaf ear to external messages. They are listening all the time but only actively when they hear something that interests them. In my household, if one says a certain word, in a certain tone of voice, you have our dog, Bruno’s full attention. The particular word is, “SQUIRREL!” and you must say it like you mean it--like that little rascal with his twitching tail is right outside the window. If you say the word, “Squirrel!” with this type of emphasis, Bruno will jump up from a sound sleep and head for the nearest window. His ears are up. His eyes are bulging out of his Boston Terrier head. He is all eyes and all ears.

Adults pretend to listen. We nod our heads and blink our eyes and say, “Good point.” But we’re still not listening until you say something about feeling, status or connection. We don’t buy stuff, we buy how it makes us feel.

Since we have spent our entire lives being marketed to, absorbing and ignoring over 10,000 messages each day, we also think we know what works and what doesn’t. We believe if the message is simple and logical and then we will naturally buy.

Emotions control actions.

But we are not logical creatures. Not really. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio did groundbreaking research on this. He worked with patients with lesions on the part of their brain that controls emotion. The result was that these people, who were otherwise logical beings, could not make decisions. They could reason through any problem presented to them but could not actually reach a conclusion. This is what happens when we take emotion out of the equation.

Getting All Eyes and All Ears On You

So, the objective is to say something worth hearing. The number one problem I see is self-centered marketing messages. Your potential clients want to hear, What’s In It For Me (WIIFM). Our ears only perk up, our eyes only light up when we hear about what’s in it for us. Tell us how the product/service will make us feel, how it will help us get to the status we want. Tell us how it will connect us to others. Those are the only things worth talking about. Period.

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