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Oops, My Fault

No, this is not a post about admitting your mistakes as a way of better customer service. I already covered that here.

This is about a mistake I made in marketing my marketing class.

Last night I gave a talk titled “Main Street Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” to a group in Ortonville, MI sponsored by the Ortonville DDA. The talk was marketed to the 90+ member DDA, the local Chamber, and every other business in town.

Ten people showed up.

Afterward the DDA Director came up to me and said, “Phil, you know a lot about marketing. Here is what I did… …What did I do wrong?”

And then the light bulb went off. Surprised that I didn’t get it before. But it was right there in my presentation, and it was something Roy Williams has said to me many times before.

It isn’t so much about who you reach as it is what you say.

Yes, she did a great job of getting the word out about my talk. The problem was, she used the wrong word.

No matter what type of marketing you are doing, the first, last, and most important element of your marketing effort is the MESSAGE.

And the most powerful message is one that speaks to the heart. Emotions. That’s what moves us to action. Raw, powerful emotions. Rarely do we act on pure logic. Rarely do we respond to facts and data. But when you speak to our heart, we can move mountains.

And if I’m going to be doing presentations on this stuff, I need to first teach it to the organizers so that they can use it to draw up the kind of crowds for which this info would be helpful.

So to those ten wonderful people who showed up last night – thank you! And to last night’s organizer, I’m sorry. That was my bad. I promise not to do it again.


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