Are People Buying What You're Selling?

Remember the emotional phone commercials from the 80's?  


We see a little girl pick up the receiver of a canary yellow corded phone. On the other end would be her grandfather, who lives far away. As the man hears her granddaughter's voice, tears would flow and sappy music would play. 

Why do we still remember these ads? Why did they have such an impact on us? The service being sold was phone coverage, but I bet the biggest impact the commercial had on you was that of emotion. Today we barley have time to text someone, much less pick up the phone or speak face to face. 

We are bombarded with ads every day. Most of these never hit the mark with us. They are produced in a way that's in your face, screaming at you. The key phrase there is "at you". Why do these ads miss the mark? They haven't connected with us in a way that makes us care. What comes to my mind are the car lot commercials. I turn these off instantly because of the tone in which they are produced. People are looking for, starving really, for authenticity. 

The reason the phone commercials from more than three decades ago were successful was because they made us feel something. The phone service being marketed was simply the vehicle in which we could connect again with another human. When people are impacted emotionally they are more inclined to take action. Think about some nonprofit spots you've seen. 

As a business or organization, your mission isn't to make people feel sad or guilty, but you should be willing to take your guard down and connect with your audience. It doesn't matter what business you're in, it's important to form trust and explain why someone should care about what you're about. 

The phone service promoted in the commercials was the wrapper, the product really marketed was authentic human connection. Your "widget" is only the wrapper, what you're really selling is an experience or a feeling. Think outside of the box in your marketing and form an authentic connection with your clients.