I’ve played drums as a hobby since I was 16 years old, and one of my all-time favorite drummers is Neil Peart. He plays in the band, “Rush,” which has sold over 40 million albums and received induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You would think that one of the world’s greatest drummers would rest on his laurels after playing for over 40 years. Yet, in a recent interview, Neil made this insightful statement about performing in public:
“(As a band), we don’t take for granted that people just admire what we do, so that whatever we do they’ll admire. In fact, I feel like we have to earn every audience. We have to earn their dedication, their expenditure of time, energy, and money to be at our concerts – every single time. There’s an old show business adage that says, ‘You’re only as good as your last show.’”
Top performers in music realize that they must earn the trust and respect of their audience – every single time. Otherwise, people will lose interest and go listen to someone else’s music.
The role of a marketing executive is no different. You must use constantly earn the respect and trust of your audience. You’re only as good as your last marketing campaign. If you take people for granted, consumers will lose interest in your product and buy elsewhere. But, how do marketers take an audience for granted? Examples include:
- Always asking for the sale without giving free value first.
- Rehashing the same pitch over and over.
- Failing to expand into new markets and leaning too heavily on current customers.
- Sending out boring newsletters devoid of tangible value.
- Creating TV commercials or print ads that lack creativity to grab people’s attention.
Earning an audience doesn’t mean marketers should live in fear or walk around with unrealistic pressure. It means that you respect the privilege of having a large group of people willing to listen to your message. Marketing is an honorable occupation, because you’re influencing the decisions of the masses. One successful campaign can lead thousands of people to willingly purchase, donate, volunteer, or spread word-of-mouth.
If people can sense when musicians, actors, and athletes go through the motions, then they can also sense when marketers phone in their work, grow stale, or rest on their laurels. Challenge yourself to consistently respect the privilege of earning people’s trust with your marketing. In return, consumers will reward your sincerity with consistent sales.