Monday, July 13, 2009

Promises, Promises.

When Baby Boomers ask, “What’s in it for me?,” they’re looking for a strong Promise and equally strong Reasons Why they should believe it. But your Promise and Reasons Why have to be more than just dry marketing statements. They have to sparkle with creativity, too.

A genuinely creative approach will elevate the Promise and Reasons Why above the commonplace and give them the edge needed to cut through the clutter of today’s communications garbage can. Of course, there’s no safe, scientific way to be creative, which is why so many marketers shy away from trying. Fact is, you’ve got to be a risk taker to even dabble in creativity, because seeking safety is antithetical to the creative process.

One reason why being creative is inherently dicey is that it’s often hard to differentiate good creative from bad. A quick look at most of what passes for advertising and marcom today proves that. One rule of thumb I use is this: If a creative concept scares you, it’s probably innovative and sharp enough to penetrate the audience’s apathy. If the idea feels comfortable, pitch it, because it’s undoubtedly shopworn. And never worry about being “too creative”—that’s impossible. Just make sure that you stay on target, because as the adage goes, “It ain’t creative if it don’t sell.”

Tapping into your creativity isn’t a theoretical or businesslike venture. It’s more like jumping into the sandbox and playing. Just make sure that the results include a meaningful Promise that’s paid off by credible, compelling Reasons Why Boomers should believe it.

Use powerful imagery and language that persuade the audience to see your products and services in a new light. Be competitive without being pushy. Design creative executions that are uncluttered and stylish. Make your points concisely and with elegant simplicity. Be daring and a bit presumptuous. Be gutsy and a little dangerous, too. In short, be creative, whatever that means in the context of your communication challenge and your capabilities. Just make sure that everything you do is believable in a way that resonates on the deepest levels with Baby Boomers.

Finally, always remember that the best advertising and marketing communications begin and end with a Promise. Clearly communicate that Promise with a boldly executed Big Idea, and eventually you’ll break through to the Boomer Buying Center. That’s a Promise.

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