Tricked out Marketing Technology – But where’s the Message?

Tricked-out Marketing Technology: Who knows, this may be the next big thing. Unfathomable sums of money are spent on sexy new technologies for sending out marketing messages.

All this cool new technology can put a fine point on what’s missing in action.

And what’s MIA 9 times out of 10 is an emotionally compelling, intellectually persuasive message.

Here are two examples I’ve come across. The first is an Online Brochure and the second a serious Web Upgrade.

#1 Online Brochure

I received an email from Huthwaite, they’re the SPIN Selling
folks. The subject line in the email was “Huthwaite Open Courses Brochure is now ONLINE!” (Not to sound too cynical, but WOW! A sales brochure to read online. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.)

The text in the email body gave instructions on how to use the online brochure once you got there -AND- future brochures would be available in that same format. (I can hardly wait.)

Clicking on the email link took me to a new online brochure technology.  Once there, your mouse movements and clicks page you through it. The technology wanted to make you feel like you were turning the pages of a real brochure. (OK, if you say so.)

Here’s the Problem

The email didn’t have any heart or soul in its message. It was saying “hey, I’m here, you should look at this, but I don’t really know why”

The email was well formatted, clean, neat, and informational (in a way that should make the British proud).

But the message was flat, without life. The epitome of “who cares?”

The online brochure was the same as the email; well produced and easy on the eye. But about as emotionally compelling as stapling a class list on a bulletin board. It was a data dump.

I Love Cool Technology

Yes, I do. I’m a bit of a gearhead myself. And I may use that very same online brochure technology in the future.

But if I do, I’m sure going include a message that has red corpuscles in it. A message that connects to the head and heart of the audience – that’s the goal.

It’s been said (and I’m a believer) that we make decisions based on emotion and then justify them with our intellect.

In that light, this online brochure never got off the emotional ground, and so my intellect didn’t come back from lunch (not that I was flying to London for SPIN training anyway).

#2 Serious Web Upgrade

A friend of mine owns a Seattle marketing firm and he showed me the web upgrade for a client we have in common.

It’s one of the coolest websites I’ve seen in a long time.

Great site. Stunning flash animation. Hyper organized and wildly interactive. I could have spent hours watching it, but…

After the gizmo stuff, I just didn’t care about the business connected with the web site.

It didn’t have a message that mattered to me. It wasn’t compelling or persuasive or engage the heart at any level.

There was a cold sterility that let you sit back and watch everything going on, but didn’t connect with you.

And in the end, what’s the point?

Don’t we want to engage our audiences, prospects, and customers?

Don’t we want them thinking yes and saying yes because we’re in tune with what they want and we’re able to share that with them?

lawrencearabia1Why all this talk about heart in Messaging?

As technology gets ever more capable of doing amazing things onscreen, the message will matter even more.

It’s the message that truly counts.

Crazy new technology gets a brief look in, but quickly fades from consciousness. Only to be surpassed by the next new crazy cool widget.

Messages that engage the head and heart engage prospects, customers, and audiences. Think about the 1,000s of bad movies out there, and the few truly great ones. You remember those great ones, they reached you. Those are the ones that matter, even decades after first seeing them.

Good business messaging, like great movies, connects emotionally with its audiences. Technology by itself doesn’t.

What are your messages about?


Chris Arlen
President, Service Performance

Technorati: marketing, Huthwaite, messaging

P.S. If you receive this post by email you may notice a new addition at the bottom. It’s our free ebook gift to new subscribers. Feel free to download it yourself. We first published this material in July 2007 as a Revenue-IQ monthly article.

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