Marketing Spotlight: A Real Page Turner

An ongoing topic in Remember Marketing News will be spotlighting insightful marketing ideas and tactics. I typically look at media and advertising through a different lens, as a consumer but also as a marketing professional. (FYI, you may not like watching TV with me because I enjoy watching commercials and will often rewind!)

Today I was inspired by the spring "style guide" I received in the mail from J. Crew. It was one that I picked up and wanted to read from cover to cover. I thought it was brilliantly put together; it did make me want to turn the pages AND feel like I "belonged."

Images from the J. Crew April 2016 Style Guide

Images from the J. Crew April 2016 Style Guide

I'm writing about it because I think there are many examples within where J. Crew's marketing was on-point. You have to give your audience a reason to want to turn the pages of a publication these days when they can easily throw it in the trash or view products online. Rather than just pushing a product or service, here are some examples  that we can all learn from J. Crew about how to engage with an audience.

1. Provide your audience with value -The cover of this publication is pictured in the top left-hand image above and includes the text April 2016 | Style Guide.  It immediately delivers a message that this publication is more than just a catalog and tells the reader that they may be better informed by reading it. It piques interest without being too "salesy."

Learning point: Take a look at your marketing materials and see if they have your audience in mind FIRST, or are they just telling/selling with no focus on the perspective of who you are talking to?  You have to give to receive in today's marketing arena (and life in general, btw).

2. Tell stories - Don't just sell it, tell it! J. Crew dedicated a few pages to tell stories about its products. I enjoyed the page that used fun facts to teach me some things I didn't know about gingham--a pattern I happen to love! They also took me on a trip down memory lane telling the history of the Lacoste crocodile, something adorned on many of my childhood threads. The stories helped me, and I'm sure many others, connect with the products. 

Learning point: What stories can you tell about your product or service to help your audience connect, and are you telling them? One of my favorite books on this topic is "Made to Stick," it explains why we remember and connect with a good story.

3. Help your audience envision themselves using your product or service - The copy throughout the style guide helped me picture myself in many of the styles. Any woman can get behind the idea of the 30-second outfit, and that was just one example!

Learning point: In marketing your product or service, it is so important to take a step back and think about your potential customer's point of view. If you can find a clever way to explain how you can fulfill a need for your customer, you'll find yourself in a great place. Take a look at your latest marketing materials and view them through your customer's eyes. Does it engage you through their eyes? If not, make a change.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a new gingham outfit.

Shannon P.R.