Tuesday, December 9, 2014

To hell with your Association’s “grass seed” ...


... what will it do for my “lawn?”

As I was watching a couple of recent television commercials, I recalled a comment my PR professor made more than 40 years ago:
  • If you are in the lawn seed business, remember that your audience is saying, “To hell with your grass seed, what will it do for my lawn?”
I’ve never forgotten this (and some other gems from Walt Seifert).

So, I wonder what companies/agencies/associations missed when their TV ads (or other marketing pieces) tell me ...
  • we’ve been in business for xx years
  • our staff team has xxx years of experience
  • we have more than xxx members
Perhaps it is selfish but most potential members (and members) are asking “what’s in it for me?” Why should I pay dues or attend your conference?

Regretfully, most associations (based on a quick review of association websites) are selling a “we’re great, you should join us” option.

Almost all association marketing professionals know that we should share BENEFITS not FEATURES, yet we plaster features all over our association websites and materials.

One of the associations where I worked offered an amazing children’s program for those children coming with their parents to its annual conference. We had almost 150 children attend. Yet, I was frustrated with our marketing approach ... we listed the feature (the number of hours children could be in the kids’ program). I can still hear parents saying, “I don’t care how many hours of babysitting/kids programming there is, will my son/daughter be safe and have fun?”

Have your looked at your recent marketing materials?

Are you “selling” benefits or features, grass seed or solutions?

It is harder to write about benefits but the results are much better.

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