How to Lose an Audience in 10 Days
A couple months ago, my colleague Caitlin and I were discussing marketing over Pad Thai, and she threw out the idea of a post themed after the Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey gem, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." There's a reason I hang out with Caitlin ... she's a smart cookie.
If you're not familiar with the film's plot, advice columnist Kate Hudson pitches the idea of all the crazy things a woman could do to make a man leave her in 10 days. Across town, advertising playboy Matthew McConaughey makes his own bet: that he can get a woman to fall in love with him ahead of a major event. Antics ensue, and needless to say, Roger Ebert was not a fan of this romcom.
So in the spirit of "How to Lose a Guy ..." Caitlin and I went back and forth a bit, coming up with the following four ways to make your audience hit the road and run into the arms of your very handsome competitor:
1. Sending Mixed Messages ... Does Your Audience Even Know You?
Inconsistent messaging — across your brands and/or channels — simply does not fly. It's like dating a dude who's all over the place. And you know what they say: If he's sending mixed messages, he's just not that into you.
When you let your audience know you're just not that into them — unlike the 20-something woman who cries to her besties over ice cream that "He seemed so into me, but then he stopped calling!" — your audience is not going to stick around trying to figure out what went wrong.
2. Just Like Forgetting to Make Reservations, You Forgot to Optimize for Mobile
How many times do you have to read that mobile isn't just the "future" anymore? HELLO! It's here, and consumers expect your website and content to be mobile-optimized. Do you expect the mobile-optimization fairy godmother to show up, fix your site and then leave? Well don't hold your breath.
Want a concrete example? Then consider this year's Super Bowl — so much of the Big Game played out on the mobile and social (I actually watched the game on my ancient iPad because I don't have cable!).
And let us not forget Gatorade's special Super Bowl Snapchat filter (which received 160 million impressions).
If that's not enough, then take it straight from the mouth of Google:
In the USA, 94 percent of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present.
3. Punching Above Your Weight
This never turns out well, and for marketers, this is more specifically the misstep of being inauthentic. Your audience can smell fake a mile away, so don't be fake.
Sure, we all want to be relevant and timely, but if there's a situation going on that your brand does not fit into, do not shoehorn it in. Because it never, EVER works (and then you get made fun of — or worse — on social media).
4 . 'Please Stop Calling Me ..."
"Thanks for the great date ... I'll call you," she says.
Except, ok, she doesn't right away. So ... you call her. No answer, so you don't leave a message. You call back later. Same deal, but this time you leave a voice mail ... and then you do this 42 more times over the course of a week.
No, really. Stop it. If you abuse your communication channels, be it phone or email, your audience is going to think you're spamming them, when in your mind, you're just really eager and excited. Like a puppy. Doesn't everyone like puppies?
Set up a preference center and honor it. Communicate with your audience when they want it, and respect the fact that some people will be chill and accepting of all varieties of communication across channels, while other consumers are more selective. And that's ok.
If you can't manage to handle the four points above, well, I hate to say this, but your audience is going to wiggle out of your arms faster than that cat. And they're going to take their money with them, too.