An asymmetric look
Photo by David Goehring

When we market to someone, we’re looking for a reaction (ideally, a purchase). Just like when we talk to someone, we want them to listen. When we don’t get the immediate reaction, we feel like we’ve failed.

I recently ran into a teacher of mine who developed ALS. As I started talking with her, not paying attention to the fact that she was wheelchair-bound. It wasn’t until she responded slowly did it occur to me that her communication skills has slowed down dramatically. Her memory was intact, just her ability to talk at a quick rate was affected. I realized that we would have to talk asymmetrically – she could listen, just not participate as fully.

When we create a marketing campaign, we sometimes forget that not everyone chooses to respond when we want them to. Perhaps the advertisement is filed away, or the press release put into a folder on their hard disk for later. When the time is right, when the person is seeking a solution to their problem, do they start looking through their files for ideas.

And that’s when your marketing campaign will pay off. Only if you’re very lucky will your marketing message arrive to the right person, at the right time, with the right offer. Instead, make your minimal goal to have a marketing message that’s valuable enough to be filed away for later. You want your marketing to be top-of-mind when your prospect is actively searching for help, and be seen as a valuable resource that was kept until now.

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