Marketing lessons from strange places again… Recently The Doctor (of BBC’s Dr. Who) hid his companions with a simple device that skewed your attention just a wee bit to the left. So as they went past, the bad guys would just look away without realizing it and they could go on with saving the world and other such things. If your product has fallen into the Gap of Despair there is a good chance prospects are doing exactly the same thing to your marketing message. It’s not that they are consciously deciding not to consider your product. They have unceremoniously and unconsciously put your ads, your message, your product into their blind spot. They don’t even realize you are being over-looked. First response I usually see to this situation is a call for advertising to spice-it-up, which in general I’m for, but you can’t solve fundamental product deficiencies with spicier … Continue reading
Sometimes your product category faces foundational shifts that turn the Marketer’s Gap of Despair into a chasm. (The Gap is that uncomfortable place where consumers can not be motivated to action by any real feature of your product.) At this point the chasm is so easy to see that agreeing to build a bridge is simple. (Newspapers, combustion engines, pay phones, buggy whips…) Trouble starts about halfway across. That’s when your entire organization gets their most frightening view of what happens if you build the bridge poorly. The chasm is deep and unforgiving. So what happens? We try to turn back. We sabotage innovation to keep old categories and cash flows alive, just a little bit longer. We grab ‘safety’ lines that pull us in all sorts of directions. (This being a bridge – direction counts) We stop. Then somebody else sets up shop where we were going. They push back … Continue reading
Falling into the gap of despair leads to expensive mistakes in marketing communication at the same time when large investments in product development should be made. During a downturn this gap grows swallowing and destroying marginal products and services. Unfortunately, it can also grow to include entire product categories. Have you fallen into the gap of despair? Are you Average? Not Cheap enough? Not Good enough? Not Necessary enough? Not Desirable enough? Looking to your marketing department to fix your problems with high falutin’ yet distracting conceptual humor? Then your product is in the the gap. While marcom campaigns can pull a product and even a category out of the gap – this only works if there are real customer needs/desires and real product features/benefits to tie onto. The good news? Surviving a fall into the gap is possible. We’ll talk about strategies that can work in upcoming posts.