Create marketing that people seek out rather than tune out

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded  |

Today’s world is filled with messages and noise. The addition of technology in the form of smart phones and iPads have exponentially increased this trend. It seems like it’s harder to break through and reach people with all of this vying to get your attention. In some ways, adults are still like children. Kids have an innate way of tuning in on things that are interesting to them and tuning out what isn’t. I have children. Often, I can repeatedly tell them to turn off their bedroom light when they leave the room, but they seem to completely tune me out. On the other hand, I can tell them about the plans to go to Chicago and they remember every detail and make sure I follow through on every last one of them.

Consumers are like my children. They tune out noise and chatter, but will stop dead in their tracks to hear something that is interesting. Marketers today need to abide by a simple rule, create marketing that people seek out rather than tune out. Too often, many marketers create bad ads, bad web sites, bad TV spots, bad direct mail, bad everything. They believe, wrongly, that people care about their products and services as much as they do. Many don’t. If they do, often they have already tuned them out before they realize it is something they want because the creative is so bad.

Though it feels like the marketplace is more cluttered, it really isn’t any different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. 90% of the marketing out there is so awful that many consumers, including me, tune out these train wreaks. It’s even more prevalent online with all of the banner ads, web videos (especially the ones that start automatically. I hate those), email blasts, etc. The tenants of excellent marketing still holds true: creative engagement, relevant messaging, and emotional connection. The line between marketing and entertainment has become more blurred. If it’s boring, we tune out. If it feels like you are talking at us, we tune out. If your ads are condescending, we tune out.

With the consumers firmly in control, marketers need to understand most people are seeking out information for new things and cool stuff. They are seeking out resources to help them live better lives. The goal of the marketer is to provide marketing that entertains, embraces emotional connection, and is executed in a compelling way. If you aren’t doing this, many customers are simply tuning you out, not seeking you out.

Here’s an interesting test. If your children tune your marketing out, there’s a good chance, so are the adults.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.


  1. Creative marketing increases Wall Street broker’s subscriber base | Be Branded - January 20, 2012

    […] my previous post, I wrote about the concept of creating marketing that people seek out, not tune out. Here’s […]

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