What Can Marketing Professionals Learn from Show and Tell?

what can marketing professionals learn from show and tellI remember seeing a banner in a high school English class that boldly proclaimed: “Don’t tell me about the woman singing on stage—Bring her on and let her sing!” That was good advice for a high school English writing class. It’s great advice for marketing.

Let’s face it; much of marketing is essentially show and tell. The problem is that many of us in the marketing community do a lot more telling than showing. Then we wonder why people ignore our messages. Showing is so much more effective.

You can tell somebody all about the cool things that an iPad can do. Talk long enough, and their eyes will glaze over. Hand them the iPad and let them try it for themselves and their eyes light up.

How can we do more showing than telling—particularly when we’re not sitting down face-to-face with prospective customers or clients? Here are a couple of things to consider.

Use Video. If you have the kind of product or service that lends itself to a demo, shoot a short video that shows your prospective customers exactly what your product can do for them. Post it on YouTube and give people a link to it. But remember: Don’t make the video about you or even about your product or service. Make the demo show what your product or service will do for the people watching. And don’t make it a talking head video with you telling them how great it is. Show them.

Use Case Studies. Some products and services really don’t lend themselves to the video format. That’s OK. You can still demonstrate how your product or service can benefit your audience. Create a clear case study and present it.  Again, your case study shouldn’t be a bragging piece about how great you are. It should demonstrate how your product or service helped someone—and can help the reader.  It’s a good idea to ask people to fill out a very simple form (name and email) before allowing them to download your case study. This allows you to keep track of the people that are interested enough in what you’re offering to give you their name and email address. And it gives you a vehicle to (appropriately) contact them later to determine if they are still interested.

Can you think of other ways to show your customers what you can do for them?

mike smith

Blog Post Written by Mike Smith

I help my clients identify their key messages and communicate them to the people they are trying to reach—in a way that matters to them, and makes them respond. I am the “Mike” at MikeWordsmith of Colorado Springs.