The most common marketing problem I encounter is where people have done everything they believe to be right, and yet they are talking to me about why their marketing is not connecting. It is just not making the impact they had hoped for.

The core of good marketing is an emotional bond between brand and audience, but creating this is challenging. We are often our own greatest obstacle preventing our branding including our communications and marketing messages, from resonating.

We live in a time where it is easy to become self-absorbed and removed from reality. We have generations now who can’t imagine a time without social media, where likes, views and comments often from near strangers are everything. We are becoming increasingly self-absorbed to the point where our own happiness is interfering with our chance of creating meaningful connections.

Let me explain how the concept of happiness and meaning are at the heart of good marketing.

From the video

I want you to have a think about your marketing and ask yourself the important question: Is it making you happy or is it making your clients and your potential clients happy? Because often those two things are very very different.

The amount of time that I’ve sat across from people presenting different marketing ideas and concepts and they’ve gone, “Well, I actually prefer this and I prefer that.” The point is not what you prefer – the point is what does your audience prefer.

What is going to make them happy and even more importantly, what is going to be more meaningful in the messaging towards them, because meaningful messages are the ones that cut through. And meaningful doesn’t always mean happiness.

Meaningful means what is the difference that you are going to make their lives. It’s taking it one step further. It’s what charities do all the time, because we know that they are gonna make lives happier, so they actually more about the meaning. But of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t go on to talk about happiness as a result of the meaningfulness, and the flipside is also true for businesses. You can talk about the happiness, but you then need to talk about the meaningful impact that you can make in people’s lives. That’s what really going to get you cut through in your marketing.

So ask yourself firstly the question: Are you talking to yourself? or are you talking to your audience? And if you’re talking to your audience, are you talking about what’s going to make them happy and what’s going to make a meaningful difference to their lives, because if you get them both in there, you will have cracked the marketing code.

Marketing which connects

When you cut to the core of marketing, there are two types of messages, those designed to make people feel happy and those delivering meaning. There is nothing wrong with selling ‘happiness’, but if your product or service messages can also talk to the ‘meaning’ your impact will be greater. For example, this product is making life easier for me (happy) so I can spend more time with the family (meaning).

The most important thing to remember is, the success of your communications and marketing will be judged by your audience. Whether they reflect your personal taste or thoughts is almost irrelevant. Make your audience happy. Find out what will give your audience meaning. Never assume that because you like or that you feel comfortable with it, that it is correct.

To give you one final example. Let’s say I decide my favourite colour is fluorescent pink so therefore this should be the main colour in my campaign. Let’s say I think everyone should love snakes (definitely not me). If my main audience is over 65s and I have a garden maintenance service – do you think I will be successful using my favourite colour and featuring snakes in the image or with a main message which says “Let me look after your garden and give your snake a nice home.”

If you need help generating ideas as to how to better connect with happy and meaningful messages, schedule a free consultation here.