I want you to try an experiment today.
This experiment will show you the power of WHERE you market. As a marketer, I’m sure you’ve had countless times where you’ve created something really cool, only to have it fall flat on it’s pretty face.
Why? Because you got wrapped up in the message and forgot about the delivery.
Here’s how the experiment works. First, take 20 or so pieces of paper. On them, write something great that would make people want to act on what you wrote. Treat this like an advertisement. Personally, I wrote:
“I’m doing an experiment. If you see this, bring it to Sean for some free candy.”
After I wrote that, the only thought going through my mind was, “Hopefully that paper doesn’t end up in the daycare a couple floors down.”
Next, I want you to hang those 20 pieces of paper in 3 different areas:
- On the overused bulletin board – You know, the one that’s littered with HR stuff on there. Every office has one. Pin a paper to that board.
- In your coworkers’ mailboxes – Choose 13 mailboxes and place your paper in those.
- Hanging from the ceiling in the hallways – Grab a ladder, some long pieces of tape and hang the rest of the paper in different spots in the hallways.
Finally, wait for people to come to your office. When they show up, ask them where they heard about getting free candy. Once they tell you, mark it down on a piece of paper. After the day is done, tally up the results.
The findings shouldn’t really surprise you. They aren’t supposed to. This is meant to show how each area (board, mailboxes, ceiling) corresponds to message distribution in the marketing world. Here’s what it all means:
Bulletin Board= General Methods, Little Effort:
This is meant to represent doing what everyone else does with little effort/knowledge. Just like the bulletin board at work, you’ve sent your message into a flooded and competitive channel with very little effort put in.
Think about it. How often do you actually look at that bulletin board? This is in the realm of placing an advertisement on a web page/magazine with five others or creating an Adwords campaign without using any advanced settings to narrow things down. Your message won’t stand out because there are hundreds of other messages surrounding it.
As with our experiment, you won’t have many responses to this method.
Mailboxes= Direct Marketing, Good Execution:
This is meant to represent using solid execution on time-tested direct mail pieces. Letters, emails, text messages, etc. You got to pick who exactly receives your messages (I hope you picked people who really like candy), and you delivered your message in a way where they at least have to make the decision of delete or open.
When your co-workers search their mailboxes, they’ll eventually read your message and, just like regular direct messaging, either throw it away or act on it.
Generally, this is what most people do, and results vary from poor to exceptional.
Hanging From Ceiling= Unusual Methods, Phenomenal Execution:
This is the stuff you end up putting on a resume. Not only is your message good, but you’ve delivered it in a way no one has thought of before.
How many times do you walk through the office and see paper hanging from the ceiling at eye-level? Not too often.
Likewise, how often do you see this, this, this, or these? Delivering a message like this not only guarantees a much higher rate of return, but also gets people talking about how you delivered the message. It sticks in their minds more, and that’s the whole point of advertising.
Most likely, if you actually did this part of the experiment, this is where you got the bulk of your responses.
The point of all this? Location is a big deal. As you saw in the experiment, the exact same message can get varying levels of response solely on how you deliver it. The next time you craft that excellent message, make sure you put just as much time determining how it will get out to the masses.