Perception is Reality, right?
What do people see when you send out a tweet, newsletter, blog post; put up a tradeshow booth…what is the perception of what people see?
Are you seeing through the eyes of your visitors, or through your eyes?
It’s not an easy question to answer as we all have our own vantage points. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t completely get outside of ourselves and see things objectively. Especially if we had a hand in creating the sales tool.
But it’s a good question to ask – and to try and find an answer. Or two, or three: what do other people see when they look at your ‘stuff?’ Do they see what you want them to see or do they see something else?
If your goal is to get a tradeshow booth visitor to see that you’re a fun company with an engaging product, is that coming across? If your goal is to get a visitor to see your company as conservative in your approach to the marketplace with your offerings, is that what they’re really seeing?
When you start peeling back the onion of your marketing message, it may take the eyes and ears of a third party – an ad agency, a colleague – to help you see things more clearly. And it may take the services of a professional to craft that message in a way that resonates with your visitor.
Creating the marketing message with the help of an experienced pro may be the best money you’ve ever spent. She might see things that you’re blind to. She can help with a subtle nuance in your message that makes a big impact.
On the other hand, no one knows your company, product or service quite like you – especially if you created it and live it on a daily basis. Even if you’re ‘just’ a tradeshow marketing manager, you still work and live and breath the company’s culture everyday, which gives you insight and a bird’s-eye seat into how you can reach your customers. In a perfect world, the collaboration between you and a professional (writer, designer) will result in a message that touches your potential customers in ways that move them to action.
The most successful tradeshow booths are the result of collaboration between several people, giving each person a stake in the message, but not surrendering to the whim of an individual. But committee meetings can only go so far: any successful message has to have a passionate advocate who has an understanding of the product/service and the impact that a customer feels when they commit to your company by pulling out their wallet.
So. Get a second opinion. And a third. Feed their comments and opinions into the hopper, chew them over and let them inform your creation, but not control it.
And remember it’s all fluid: markets, products, people. What works today may not next year. Or vice versa.