In Praise of the Lowest Common Denominator

A few years ago, I was flying back from a client meeting via JetBlue. By the time I boarded the full flight, many of the passengers were already tuned in to DIRECTV. I glanced around and saw that I was in the company of a refined audience. Passengers were watching CNN, CNBC, The History Channel and an occasional ESPN News here and there. A fast 90-minute flight later, I looked around again. It was a different picture. Easily three out of four passengers (myself included) were transfixed by the much less highbrow “Growing Up Gotti.”

A few years ago, I was flying back from a client meeting via JetBlue. By the time I boarded the full flight, many of the passengers were already tuned in to DIRECTV. I glanced around and saw that I was in the company of a refined audience. Passengers were watching CNN, CNBC, The History Channel and an occasional ESPN News here and there. A fast 90-minute flight later, I looked around again. It was a different picture. Easily three out of four passengers (myself included) were transfixed by the much less highbrow “Growing Up Gotti.”

While we all aspire to spend our waking hours living the tippy-top “self-actualization” tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy, there are times when we just need a break from all that intellectual stimulation.

As marketers, you have an opportunity to make yourselves memorable by giving consumers an escape. It’s time to think beyond whitepapers and webinars and all the “good for you” stuff that you do for consumers.

Give Them Something to Talk About
We’re social animals by nature and love to share with others. Go to any website and take a look at the “Most Read” and “Most Emailed” list. I guarantee they look very different from each other. What we like to share are things that emotionally impact us in some way — whether it made us chuckle, surprised us or touched us.

Make Them Laugh
Speaking of laughter, if blender companies and insurance companies can be funny, you can too. If all else fails, make fun of yourself. Talk about the “unspeakable” and, if you’re brave enough, embrace the “ewww.” Check out Nasopure, a company that makes nasal wash devices, for an example of the latter.

Surprise Them With a Gift or Gesture
Who doesn’t like presents? Nothing makes an impact like a random act of appreciation. It can be as simple as mailing out a little “thinking of you” trinket (preferably without your logo on it) or a handwritten note to thank your customer for their business.

What are you waiting for? Channel your not-quite-so-evolved self and bring a “Growing Up Gotti” moment of pure delight into your customers’ lives.