One of the keys to creating a competitive advantage over your business competitors is to develop a strong marketing message. Some companies lose their way getting there. Some are inflexible, adhering to a concept or a theme that doesn't resonate, doesn't motivate or simply doesn't get attention. The message the committee developed last January in the seclusion of a meeting room may not be the one that will work today, in this economy, under today's circumstances. Change, evolution is a necessary part of the process.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of films such as Patton, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, said that producers create a picture three times. First they write it; then they shoot it; then they edit it.

Those changes can be very significant, changing the entire message of a story. Important films have often changed even the ending of the story.

The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 film directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,  switches the order of story sequences from the book so that the family ends up in a "good" camp provided by the government and events turn out relatively well. The ending of the book is far less optimistic.

In the film, The Natural, from the 1952 book by Bernard Malamud, Roy Hobbs is victorious and fulfilling his dreams of glory, hitting the game-winning, pennant-clinching homer. The novel shows a Hobbs who is crushed by his own hubris and must live as a forgotten man, striking out in his ultimate moment.

If filmmakers, the executives of arguably America's most successive industry, can change the message  of their film to accommodate their audience (clients), why shouldn't you?

Posted
Authorbob namar

Almost 100 years ago, in April, 1912 during the sinking of the Titanic, the ship's radio operators sent out distress calls begging for help. They intermixed "CQD" and "SOS" distress calls, hoping someone would respond. French was, and still is, the official language for international postal services.  The letters CQ, when pronounced in French, "sécu", resemble the first two syllables of sécurité, and were therefore used as shorthand for the word. It is still used in this sense in international telecommunications.  In English-speaking countries, the origin of the abbreviation was popularly changed to the phrase "seek you" or, later, when used in the CQD distress call, "Calling all distress". CQD appears to have died out shortly after this event, but SOS has lived on into today in popular culture.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the letters SOS were chosen because they are easily transmitted in Morse code; a continuous sequence of three-dits/three-dahs/three-dits, all run together without letter spacing. They were not an abbreviation, acronym or initialism for "Save our Ship", "Send Out Succour", or "Save our Souls". These were 'backronyms,' and came into popular use after SOS went into effect.

Today, marketers can rescue their business from its distress by intelligently applying content to their blogs, websites or tweets. Their key to success is as simple as S.O.S.: Solve Or Share.

But leave out the "sell"

Your blog should focus on your customers. Solve their problems; share your resources. Don't sell. As tempting as it may be to force yourself on your customer once you make a connection, resist!

In the movie War Games, Mathew Broderinck's character needed to 'break into' a computer (the WOPR) in order to prevent WWIII. The generals all stood by and watched as he chatted with and coerced the computer to play a game with him. As soon as he accessed the game, the generals jumped in and tried to manipulate the WOPR and it immediately shut them out. He had more work to do to get back int he good graces of the WOPR, which he did, and saved the world.

Like those generals, marketers are anxious to force themselves and 'news' about their company, products and services as soon as any tenuous connection is made with a consumer/customer.

But that won't engage prospects or attract customers. You need to write about what they care about.

What should you include? Ask your sales force or customer service staff  about the problems or questions they frequently encounter. What search terms are popular on your site? Think like a customer, or a reporter, not a salesperson.

When the Titanic was sinking, customers wanted to know where to get a life-jacket and how to find a lifeboat. They were not interested in the total tonnage displacement of the ship, or how many years of brilliant service the captain had under his belt.

Give your customers what they want and need, and it'll be smooth sailing.

----------------------------------- A new truth about the sinking of the Titanic?

Posted
Authorbob namar