Single Throw's Internet Marketing Post

Single Throw is an Internet Marketing firm that helps businesses with sales lead generation by making sure your message is in the right place at the right time - when a customer is searching and has need - when they are most likely to make a buying decision. We call this "From Search to Success." In this blog, Single Throw's experts will share their insights on the state of business and marketing, both online and offline, as well explore new areas of Internet Marketing.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Weekly shared insights and opinions from Caryl Felicetta, Single Throw COO

Assimilate or Differentiate:
a Good Marketing Campaign Means a Little Bit of Both

I spend the earlier part of most Sunday mornings cranking out cup after cup of great coffee from our Melitta One to One brewer* with a pile of the weekend’s newspapers building up between me and my sleeping Lab, Spencer, and the TV news shows mumbling in the background. Each Monday I share with my co-workers some of the things I came across. Now you become the lucky receivers of this same “shared knowledge.” Granted I am forming some opinions here, some of which you, or even my team, may not share. But that’s OK. That’s one of the beauties of the Internet: you can choose the information you which to share or to glean.

The New York Times’ What’s Online section in Saturday’s paper mentioned snippets one after the other that I thought presented an interesting opposition. In the first citation, Designs for Blogging, it’s noted that usability expert Jakob Nielsen, whom I am an admitted follower of, is now offering up a list of the Top 10 Design Mistakes made by Bloggers. His basic intention is to note that users must be able to grasp the articles information by reading the headline. OK, seems simple and fair enough on a basic level. Nielsen provides very simple answers on how to make design and message simple for the user. Often times, as someone with a design background, these parameters are fairly confining, but looked at from a deeper level, he reminds us that design exists for the users – something that many designers forget.

The interesting part comes in the next entry call Standout Ads. Here the author, Dan Mitchell, notes how most outdoor advertising “tends to blend together in an indiscernible melange.” He notes us to take a look at the few standouts on – a site devoted to displaying billboards, signage and other outdoor advertising. You’ll note some of the great billboards he mentions do require the viewer to “think” a bit.

So here’s my point. While Nielsen would like to see headlines on blogs that make more sense, we are all so flooded with information we need to find a way to standout. It’s a tough position to be in. Each day at Single Throw, we struggle with this same issue for our clients. We need to find that unique value proposition for our clients yet deliver it in a way that is both engaging and yet recognizable to the message recipient. The message cannot be so straightforward that it borders on the mediocre, yet it cannot be so far fetched that it is totally lost.

Seth Godin speaks about mediocrity in his blog posting on October 20th. The topic being something that many of us find pretty mediocre: dinner rolls. If you are a follower of Godin, he has the incredible talent of weaving insights into just about anything, including, yes, dinner rolls. What he reminds us is that the more we settle for the mediocre, the more we will get just that: mediocrity.

Example: We drive the best cars because something inspired us first to take a test drive. That “something” is often a marketing campaign. The campaign starts by somehow conveying to us that the car is the best. The dealership and salesperson should follow by doing the same. That marketing campaign and all of the “marketing” behind it (yes, your sales people are marketing) drives us (sorry for the pun) to purchase that car.

Take a look at what is popular out there and think about why. Was it a campaign that you connected with because it “spoke” to you in both a language you understand, yet inspired you to feel the pride of ownership? Was there that certain blend of clarity and creativity behind a great product that closed the deal? Hopefully, a mediocre campaign is not what drove you to make the purchase. And, hopefully, the product is truly amazing.

I leave you with this: make sure what you are selling is “the best.” Find out how you are different from your competition. From there, find the best marketing team to spread the word.

And...If you haven’t already done so, here’s an easy read on marketing differentiation: Purple Cow by Seth Godin. If you are in the NYC area, Seth Godin will be speaking at an Internet Marketing seminar in Edison, NJ (about 40 minutes from NYC) on November 17th. Get more information at Move Ahead 1’s website.

Now go sell something this week! -- C

* The Melitta brewer is a great value but the Melitta coffee is...well...mediocre. It will make better coffee with better pods. Problem is, they use a non-standard size pod, so they are not easy to find. So don't settle for mediocre coffee! I think the best are at Give it a try!