Answer WIIFM and everyone wins.

Answer WIIFM and everyone wins.

The Oscar’s of the advertising world just wrapped up in Cannes, France, at the annual Lions Festival. And yes, this is pretty much reserved for agencies who do mind-shattering and budget-busting work on a global scale, although sometimes a renegade start-up can make a big play, too. Regardless of the fact that I will never, ever actually be invited to it, there is still a lot to learn from the leaders of the marketing industry who do get to attend.

This year, Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer at Procter & Gamble, spoke about how the ‘new’ golden age of advertising needs to answer the all-powerful What’s In It For Me’ question for consumers.

Go WIIFM, or go home.

As the lead marketer for the largest consumer goods behomoth on the planet, I feel that Mr. Pritchard knows of what he speaks.

In his keynote address, he offered three rules which will keep marketing on the right path: One, start with something true. Two, consider why anyone would care. I think the technical term for that is the ‘give-a-crap factor.’ How can you tap into something that people really care about? Three, make your brand matter, because there’s no point in starting a conversation that your brand can’t be an authentic part of.”

The Takeaway: Whether we are marketers working for one corporate brand, or managing many brands as an advertising agency, we have a responsibility to respect the end-consumer’s time and attention and not just throw something out there hoping it sticks.

Thoughtless marketing that relies on worn-out clichés or feeds a senior exec’s ego for big budget productions may get attention, but so will wearing clown shoes to the office. If the message doesn’t move the consumer to make a buying decision, both become just an anecdote within industry news or a funny topic to share during coffee breaks. Good for a few chuckles, quickly forgotten, and yet, no one moved the marketing needle.

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