How to engage someone, when we’re all so busy checking out everyone else’s lives!

Alice Loney - 02.10.2018

I want to start by saying I’m a non-conformist. Maybe it’s me, or perhaps it’s the industry I’m in, but the words ‘follow the crowd’ fly in the face of my views about challenging the status quo.

Despite that, the amount of people I meet who say “advertising doesn’t work on me” is incredible. But, if that was the case no-one would do any marketing and I’d likely be out of a job! We also know that marketing does work, and it’s usually based, at least partly, on a crowd mentality…

One question that comes up a lot when I’m talking to other business owners is the role of social media in marketing a company. Well, three years ago I wrote a blog about coming off Facebook for a year and how to engage people in a world of distraction. Four years on and I still don’t miss Facebook, or social media to mention it. Most of my close friends are not on it, and that might just be because I’m a man who’s now 40! It’s not just me though, or my luddite friends, and this view has become an even more popular position following the negative news surrounding Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, let alone the general rise in people realising that they’ve got better things to do then check out ‘fake news’ or the polished lives others project on their social media profiles.

Taking a step back, what I’m getting at here is simply, how can you market to your consumers when they are too busy to engage with you? I mean think about it… no-one has the time to get bored these days! No-one sits in a waiting room with a phone in their pocket thinking “hmmmm…what shall I do while I wait?” Part of my advice three years ago was that if you’re doing any form of marketing, use repetition. So, I’m taking a leaf out of my own book here and reminding people about the things they should be looking to do if they’re going to market their brand well.

Running a marketing agency such as Fireworx and embracing all thing digital you’d expect me to have my own finger on the digital pulse. How could I not be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, [insert any I’ve missed]? Well, to a degree, Fireworx does feature on some of these channels, where we deem it relevant to engage with potential clients and existing customers. But, if you put yourself your customers shoes, when was the last time you inquired about a business you saw through your Facebook feed?

And for context I do think ‘online influencers’ have a big impact on fashion and lifestyle brands. Celebrity endorsements are not a new thing, but advocacy has found a new voice on channels like Instagram, as evidenced by the likes of Chiara Ferragni or Jake Paul.

I recently tried out Instagram, but I’ve posted five things in a six-month period, and to be honest I just don’t care enough to share pictures of what I deem to be only of relevance to myself and my immediate family. I follow The Rock, Tom Ford and Ryan Reynolds. They are on their game in using their star power to promote their associated brands, but I’m time poor so don’t use it really. I mean how do I fit in work, my wife, the kids, the odd round of golf, catching up on box sets, let alone all those jobs around the house that I keep putting off?!

But, this blog isn’t about my own habits, it’s about how a company can engage with people in a measurable way. So, let’s clear up some points to frame things a little:

  • Our main aim at Fireworx is to help our clients get more customers.
  • Marketing, when planned and considered, produces desirable results.
  • Billions of people communicate globally on social media platforms, a free to use marketing channel that has value as part of a larger marketing mix.

So, how do you go about making the most of it? Well, I’m reminded by a quote I use a lot. It’s not my own and I will credit it to the person who said it when I see them. “The best time to sell double glazing is when someone is looking to install it, and the worst is when they’ve just installed it”. You can’t easily find out that information, so, you need to tell people constantly, tell them again and then tell them again.

Where most companies get it wrong is that they try marketing something once, and assume, ‘ohhh that didn’t work, let’s do something else’. Or, because it’s bland or mediocre, it becomes wallpaper that nobody responds to.

In theory social media marketing has huge potential for businesses to promote themselves, be that targeted display adverts based on collected data that we can serve to defined customer groups, or in content feeds about their latest product releases, news and insights. It should work shouldn’t it? But seriously, when was the last time you clicked on a social media post, that wasn’t kids, Kardashians or kittens?

What does all of this mean? It means it’s never been more important to engage with people by creating a well-planned, well-executed approach that tailored to reflect one of two things:

1: You solve a problem for people

2: You sell an aspiration

And, you need to do it in a way that creates a ‘feeling’. A lot of people play things too safe, preferring bland and vanilla executions to messages that challenge, empower or disrupt. My view is the exact opposite, get noticed, stand out, make it so you don’t blend in to the background. Here at Fireworx we focus on creating feelings and driving responses. For any business that’s looking to market themselves, it’s never been harder to engage with people and to cut through all the noise, and that’s what we help our clients do.

So, if you’re considering your approach, here’s our updated tips for marketing your business when everyone is so bloody busy:

  • Have a clear marketing calendar which outlines your communications across a defined period.
  • Tell ‘em, tell ‘em again, then tell ‘em again!
  • Consider your value proposition (see my earlier blog, F**k digital or gimmicks, first think proposition).
  • Does your marketing either solve a problem or sell an aspiration?
  • However you market yourself, make it short, concise, visually engaging and memorable.
  • Tell ‘em, tell ‘em again, then tell ‘em again!
  • Test your approach, think about the message, the offer, the creative, and the channel.
  • Analyse – Data and conversions are so important in today’s marketing function. Analyse and optimise!
  • Tell ‘em, tell ‘em again, then tell ‘em again!

If you got this far, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy life and hopefully you found this helped you on a path to solving a particular problem. If you do want to have a more personal social experience, I’d love to discuss how we can help your business engage with your customers. Contact me on or on: 01202 559559.