The other day I was driving down the road listening to the radio and a car dealership claimed to be the number one Ford dealer in Ohio, or Central Ohio, or maybe the nation. Honestly, whatever they said made me laugh just before I changed the station. No matter where I’ve lived, somehow by a magic that defies all reason, the car dealerships wherever I might be, are always number one.

Either I bring good luck wherever I go, or this is a played out marketing tactic.

It only stands to reason that the latter is the truth, so why on earth are we still encountering this tired message? I haven’t bothered to do the market research, but I can say with confidence that nobody buys a car because the dealership claimed to be number one. NOBODY. So congratulations Bob’s Buick, you just wasted $5000 to annoy everyone. 

Odds are these ads persist because it’s what people know, or sadly, what the radio station advises them to do. Meanwhile consumers like you and me buy cars differently these days, and lots of people aren’t even listening to conventional local radio anymore. 

If he keeps this up, Bob is going to find it increasingly difficult to bring customers to his dealership.

Nobody likes a braggart.

Brands that focus all their marketing energy talking about themselves and their products are like that loud neighbor at a barbecue who talks over everyone and knows everything about everything. Lets face it, nobody likes that guy and in time we learn to avoid him. 

Whatever you do or sell might actually be the best there is, but that isn’t actually why someone would buy it. People buy because the product or service because it does something valuable for THEM. We don’t buy a car from a dealership because they sell a lot of cars there, we buy a car because it meets our needs. 

People care if you care.

Marketing that really works is customer-centered. It’s all about the person and how you help them, the product or service is just a tool. What people want is a solution, not to be sold, and they really don’t care how much you’re selling or what awards you might have won. People want to be heard, understood, even liked.

If you want to attract customers show your caring first. Listen, don’t yell, and by all means be helpful. It doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t market, rather it means you need to change HOW you market. A great place to start is by creating personas for your organization.