(& don’t listen to your marketing guy)
Last night I was watching The Late Show with Seth Meyers. He was interviewing the editor of The New Yorker Magazine, David Remnick. Seth asked him how the magazine was dealing with the shifting media landscape and noted that he’s been getting “daily emails” from The New Yorker. Immediately David butted in and said, “I’m sorry.” He was actually ashamed.
Seth quickly corrected him saying, “No. I look forward to them.”
I took two marketing lessons from this ten-second exchange….
1 – You are not your audience. Obviously, David doesn’t want to receive a daily email. Seth does. Seth found value in it. He wanted the content. If The New Yorker followed what their editor wanted, Seth wouldn’t be getting the full value of his subscription.
I’m very guilty of this one. I have to stop myself sometimes from over-riding what the market is saying. The way I like things, or want things to work, isn’t necessarily the way my customers want it done. For example, when I’m learning, I want it in written form. Yet, I know many people (maybe even most people) like video. I can’t stand video. I’m far too impatient. I want to skim an article and find the one or two points I need. I don’t want to be stuck watching a 30-minute video just to find the 30 seconds that pertain to me.
2 – Don’t be ashamed of your marketing. David’s reaction said he felt their marketing was wrong. It speaks to his integrity. If he thinks they shouldn’t be doing it, then why are they? This can be a problem in a company as large as The New Yorker, not everyone will tow the company line. But I see it even in small one-person organizations. Owners hear they should do this or that, so they do it even though it goes against their values. Then when someone calls them out they react with shame or embarrassment. Busted integrity.
I’m very careful when working with clients that I have their full buy-in on whatever we do. If I write copy for them that is inconsistent with their values, even if that copy could sell ice to Eskimos, it won’t work. People know when something is off. They smell/feel the stretching of truths. Don’t ever do it just because your guy said to. It’s your company.