Editor’s Notes: It's All About Characters
USA Network has the slogan “Characters Welcome.”
So should your marketing department. And it applies to the content you produce, as well as the people producing the content.
You see, this issue is all about character. The kind you put in your creative, and the kind you hire.
Marketing has to have life, vitality. Most importantly, it has to have people. Not stuffed shirts, but people with real humanity who your audience can identify with, and who can identify with your audience, in turn.
Visiting Dreamforce this year, the big Salesforce convention in San Francisco, really drove that home for me.
Salesforce never lets its message become too much about its product or features. It’s always talking about the people. Either it’s talking about the people using the product, and what they’re able to do now that they have the product. Or Salesforce talks about its own people, the things they’re doing and the charity they’re involved in.
Co-founder Parker Harris came out dressed like a cross between Tron and Hermes carrying a glowing lightning bolt. That’s a character!
You need to spotlight characters like that in your marketing. Whether they’re your own creation or someone else’s. For example, in this month's cover story, you’ll see how companies like Western Union are teaming up with Marvel to bring the characters from its comics and blockbuster movies into their marketing materials.
We also are looking at how you can market across generations to reach Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. What’s the common factor? Talk to them like they’re people.
We’re also looking into how to hire those kinds of characters for yourself in “8 Essential Tips to Build Your Marketing Dream Team.” Because as important as it is to project life and vitality to your target market, you’ll never find it if you don’t have that life and vitality in-house to create those campaigns.
In the end, marketing is all about people.
And people identify with your character.