Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So what? -and- Who cares?

If I wrote a marketing book, it'd be two chapters long and each chapter would be two words. Here's the entire book:

Chapter One: So what?

Chapter Two: Who cares?

You have a new product or service offering? Answer the above two questions. Be very, very specific. If you can't answer both these questions AND can't articulate this quickly to your target audience, then I'll bet good money your product or service will fail.

You're giving a presentation? Don't even open up PowerPoint until you can answer both of these questions with fine line detail. And succinctly.

Sending out an e-blast? Building an app? Tweeting? Same two questions.

Now let's think even smaller.

I'm sitting in a new business presentation (on the 'buy' side) and one of the presenters is explaining his experience to me. After five minutes, including exactly twenty discreet background details, I have asked myself the following question exactly twenty times: "So What?"

None of the background items seemed relevant to me or my hopes and dreams.

I fully understood I was supposed to be impressed and reassured by his depth of experience, as well as the technical effort it took to build the solution, but each fact, individually, just sat there like a lump.

"I've worked with McDonald's and Rubbermaid." Impressive. But so what?

"The system is build to scale and integrate seamlessly with blah, blah and blah." Who cares?

Myself, have a pen that's also a mini flashlight (True.) And two dogs. (Also true.) You don't hear me rattling this off at a sale presentation.

"I have an MBA from the University of La De Da" Very nice. But so what? And who cares? Besides your Mom.

I once shook President Ford's left hand. (True.) And met the guy who played C3PO. (Also true. And he was extremely gracious and personable.) Oh, and I saw a guy shot out of a tree. (I know ... right? But this isn't relevant and, while it might make me more memorable, it won't lead to a sale.)

The only thing that will lead to a sale is answering the following question, clearly and in small, short words: "So What?"

The "Who Cares?" part gets you in the room with the right person.

Unsure why this is so hard.

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