Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Battle scarred and experienced knowledge

Wind-blown, gnarly and worn willow - still vital and growing. Coronation Park, Oakville July 13, 2011

Had the privilege of participating in a new product focus group last week.  The proposed offering revolves around the notion of coaching personal growth for guys.  Should the proponents proceed - and I hope they do - the offering will revolve around helping men come to grips with living life to the fullest and living in the moment.

Stay tuned to this blog and I'll let you know if Elvira, Angela and John proceed.
However, during the group session it became more clear to me that there are among us men of a certain age who remain vital, who possess the very considerable benefit of bruising experience, and who are living testament to the truism that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Then I got to thinking about how one effectively communicates the benefit of greying or no hair to marketers and communicators who by and large believe that once you're beyond age 40 your usefulness is - well, not so useful.  
With all of the fuss about social media there's a prevailing belief that the medium is the sole territory of the young.  I believe that to be clap trap.  As Gary Vaynerchuk points out in his very good book The thank you economy, internet-driven media are quite simply just another vehicle to engage in conversation with consumers.  "Customers' demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention."

During my 30 years in marketing communications I have witnessed, directed, written and participated in every kind of communication activity you can imagine from straight-ahead, old timey P.R. to event management to international broadcast advertising to retail store design to packaging and pretty much everything in between.

What benefit that brings to a client today is this:  my business is founded upon three proven principles of effective communication.

Clarity - know what you want to tell your customer and tell them in as transparent a fashion as possible.

Simplicity - as an old mentor taught me "eschew obfuscation"!  Be straight foward and plain spoken.  Engage in conversation.  Commit to taking the time to be brief, brisk and brilliant.

Wit - Be engaging. Find some means by which to attract your audience's attention that is meaningful and relevant.

These principles are not the exclusive domain of any demographic group nor of any medium.  So, if you're someone who is looking to engage your customers in meaningful mutually beneficial conversation enlist the assistance of someone who has had plenty of experience in that endeavour and don't limit your search to the kids.  

And, when you do that perhaps you'll be kind enough to think of the services of Grace Hanna Inc. 

No comments: