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Why Great Marketing is Often Not About the Product at All


What is great marketing?


The very best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing (or selling) at all. Sometimes, the very best marketing doesn’t even mention the product or service involved.


I once knew a product marketing manager who sent out a regular, Friday afternoon voice message to the sales, sales support, marketing and field service teams. These ingenious drive-time tidbits were designed to increase revenue by encouraging us to speak with our customers about adding new cardiac marker assays to their clinical chemistry and immunoassay analyzers.


These entertaining presentations lasted no more than a minute or two, and rarely mentioned the cardiac markers the manager wanted us to promote, or the company’s financial goals for the quarter, or the appropriate positioning statements to use with customers.


What made this unusual approach so effective were the stories the manager told us each week, personal anecdotes that had no apparent relation to the product itself, stories that circumvented traditional notions of marketing in favor of a low-key, entertaining and memorable approach that has stayed with me, almost fifteen years after the fact.


The stories did tie into the product eventually, but with only a brief nod at the end of the message, and never with more than a sentence or two in closing. But this brilliant approach made an impact – with me, anyway – and stands as one of the best internal marketing campaigns I have ever witnessed.

Great marketing doesn’t always have to follow the standard feature-benefit brochure format. It may be that the best approach is the indirect one that draws the customer in and engages them without ever mentioning the product.


Great marketing is about results and it just may be that the subtle approach is the best one to engage customers and keep them coming back to hear more.


Great marketing is about the story you tell, and how it can resonate with customers.


Do you have an example of great marketing that you would like to share? Add it to the comments, or click the Contact Me button and send me your story.

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Leslie Williams Writes, LLC

Regulatory. Medical Devices. Marketing

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