What do you do when you get mad at the hands that feed you? If you’re Bob Gilbreath, you write a book. In his heart, he believes advertising is excessive. But then again, he creates ads for a living. Now he has launched a new book of his ideas on how marketing needs to change to get and retain customer attention. In the book, “The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning,” he makes the case that instead of bombarding the public with advertising they wish to avoid, marketers should create possibilities for the public to engage and interact with the product. Direct marketing approaches the customer directly, permission marketing seeks customer approval. Marketing with Meaning invites consumer participation.
If you want customers to buy cheese you might consider presenting them with macaroni. But you probably also need lots of dancing cheese figures around to really bring home the message. And this could go on to those who are selling software by offering free computers, though it isn’t known if such offers of free computers or macaroni really do exist. An often cited event is when Proctor and Gamble installed toilets in Times Square in 2006 in order to market Charmin. Company reps dressed as toilets to help direct the general public where to go. Charmin sales increased.
In an age when two-thirds of DVR customers and 20 percent of television viewers consistently skip the ads, and where 76 percent of Americans have signed up for the do-not-call lists, Gilbreath believes a new approach is critical. In order to connect with customers some health care companies are giving away free tests for specific conditions. The Dove soap “Evolution” campaign connects with the emotional aspect of women being unhappy with their bodies. The idea here is to create awareness of and connection with your product so that people are not only drawn to it but they then broadcast their opinion to their Facebook friends.
A creative take on a common item.