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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Riley

Best Advice: Unintentional Marketing Lessons

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

I am a veteran marketer. I commute two hours a day. In a car. On the highway. In traffic. I decided to better myself by listening to an audiobook during my drive. A chance to expand my mind and learn something new. Worlds to discover, vistas to explore yada yada yada. I was an audiobook virgin and I was amped. I downloaded the app, the book and I was ready to rock and roll – audio book style.


It doesn’t matter that my first choice was Revival by Stephen King or that it took me a while to get used to the narrators voice. What DOES matter is that I re-learned some very valuable and unintended marketing lessons and I will strive not to unlearn them again.


Valuable Lesson Number One – Keep Your Customer Wanting More. I am a fast reader. I fly through a printed book with the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow (gratuitous Monty Python reference.) I could only speed up the voice of the narrator so much before it became a comical mess. And – I only had the patience to listen in the car. So I found myself wanting more – and creating ways to get it. Trips to the bank, (I had forgotten where it was) trips to the store, (I’m an avid online shopper) carpool volunteer (ugh.) All to get the next paragraph, page, chapter. I wanted more. TAKEAWAY: We all want our customers to want more.


Valuable Lesson Number Two – Keep it Simple. Another hallmark of this particular audio relationship was the ease at which I could relate to the interface and the brand. The engagement was so easy in fact that it became organic, mindless, a natural part of my daily life. TAKEAWAY: We’d all like our customers to feel as though it were effortless to engage.


Valuable Lesson Number Three – Content Consumption Destiny. It was in my hands. I was the master of my content consumption. I determined how fast, how much, when, where and what. I was in control and it felt right. In this age of contextual overload, big data intrusions and pervasive marketing stories, consumers are wolfing down apps and devices that let them customize what they view. TAKEAWAY: You-get-what-we-want has changed to I-get-what-I-want. We need to remember that. Respect that. Market like that.


At the end of the day, the commute was still mind-numbing, the book was pretty good and the lessons I learned invaluable. I wonder what I’ll take away when I try to learn a new language!

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