I’ve been in the advertising, marketing, promotion, incentive, blah, blah, blah businesses for many years. I consider myself an expert in my field, understanding the concept development, execution, post analysis, financials and everything that goes into creating a successful campaign for my clients. At least in theory…
A few years ago a new client approached our agency with a marketing challenge. The client wanted to launch a new concept to the marketplace, and wanted to do it entirely by word of mouth. So we wrote our briefs, called our meetings, gathered the brain trust…and we met, and met, and met. Finally, we had a plan: we were going to apply our marketing wizardry to the college market, because after all, what better way to spread the word than through students who were wired in to the latest and greatest ways to get the word out?
So we met and we met and we applied our proven marketing methods, gathered our thoughts and dumped them into a slick, clever PowerPoint preso (in case you’re not cool enough, that’s a cool term for presentation). Man, are we cool.
So the big day came around…we were going to unveil our cool preso to our group of college interns — including my two sons who are in college — we were just gonna blow them away with our plan…after all, we’re the marketing mavens…the experts who know everything, right?
So the group assembled in our formal conference room. The lights dimmed, the projection system fired up, our preso flew onto the screen with our objectives and our strategy and our goals and our expected outcomes…slide after slide, wipe after fade, surely this had to blow them away, didn’t it? When the preso was over, the lights came back on, the marketing mavens lined up around the room like colonels and generals checking out their troops. “So what do you guys think?” we asked them.
“I thought you went to college.” one smart ass kid said (I think it was my son). And the comments went downhill from there.
Lesson learned: relevance…if it sounds too good in a meeting, we’re probably just talking to ourselves.