You know what a bad date is like.
Start with cautious optimism and end with reaffirmed skepticism. Most of us have lived through at least one.
But even if you’ve never been on a bad date in your personal life, you’ve probably gone on one with marketing. The sad truth isn’t that marketing is a terrible date, it’s that we marketers still emulate this unfortunate behavior.
Too often, marketers treat buyers to an agonizing courtship. If you want to be different, you have to recognize the signs. In this post, we introduce the three most common types of marketing bad dates. In upcoming posts, we’ll explore these in more detail and suggest ways marketers can improve their “dating” style.
1. The All About Me Type
No need to worry about gaps in the conversation, the All About Me Type will tell you everything: where they went to college, how successful they are at work, even drop the names of fabulous people they’ve dated before. Just don’t expect them to ask about you.
Marketing does the same thing. We brag about our shiny new features, point to the glowing write-up in the big trade publication, name top tier investors backing our company, and cite the sexy logos we’ve closed. We forget the goal is not simply to sell a product, but to learn about the buyer’s needs, wants and history. If your marketing relies on extolling your virtues rather than asking the right questions, you fall into the All About Me Type.
2. The Silent Type
The phrase “pulling teeth” was probably coined to describe this kind of date. Unlike the chatty All About Me Type, the Silent Type barely speaks, forcing you to do all the talking. By the end of the date you’ve learned nearly nothing about them and need a nap after racking your brain for more topics to bring up.
Marketers can easily fall into the Silent Type dilemma. Instead of offering too much information about our brand or product, we offer too little. We make the initial contact then drop off for weeks – maybe even months – at a time. All the while, the buyer wonders why we don’t speak up, especially with competitors expressing interest.
3. The Over-Eager Type
By far the creepiest of bad dates, the Over-Eager Type might propose on the first date. It doesn’t take this type long before announcing you make the perfect pair. Favorite color? You have your whole lives to talk about that! Needless to say, you’re probably not returning that phone call.
Marketers act like the Over-Eager Type when they focus too hard and too early on the end goal: the sale. Instead of working on getting the buyer to take the next step, and in the process learn more about them, we push hard towards the product. These kinds of marketers emit a scent of desperation so strong, just one sniff sends leads running the other direction.
Want to avoid becoming a bad marketing date? Stay tuned to the blog as we dive deeper and offer practical solutions.