The easiest way to connect with someone is to speak to what they are already familiar with. The reason why personal referrals are always the best way to get new business in virtually any industry is because the trust and comfort that a referral brings. In truth, people have referred me to crooks and horrible service providers again and again. I mean, really, if you’re not a doctor how good can you be at possibly evaluating how good your doctor is? At most you can say that he or she has a great bed side manner but even the worst doctor has a whole library of basic medical knowledge that trumps that of the everyday citizen so all doctors appear to be genius’s in our eyes. Yet, we take people’s referrals for doctors all the time? We do this because we trust what is familiar.
Connecting to your Audience
As a marketing and design agency our job is to look at how we can connect our clients’ products and services to their audience. Now while building a network of referrals is usually one of the first things we suggest (usually through building email lists and sending quality content on a regular basis) there is a real handicap to growing a network – it takes patience!
Most marketers will tell you that as a small business once you get to a list of 10,000 subscribers on your email blasts you’re set – but that takes a lot of time and a hell of a lot of effort. I’ve known non-profits who can’t seem to break past 1,000 subscribers even after trying to build their list for years. Why is that? They lost patience. Developing quality content is not easy and often times smaller companies don’t have the time or the resources to dedicate towards developing that kind of system. And while nothing will replace great original content, there is something you can do in your marketing efforts that will connect to people on a similar emotional level and I call it the “home button.”
The Home Button
The home button is a method in marketing, and sometimes even in entertainment, that uses something that is already familiar to your audience to get them comfortable and feel at home. Jimmy Fallon is a genius when it comes to using the home button method to make his audience feel so at home that watching the tonight show these days almost feels like you’re hanging out with your friends.
One of the ways he does this, and it’s on full display below, is by using family feud. Family Feud was one of the biggest gameshow hits in America. Who hasn’t seen an episode or a hundred of the Family Feud? Most of us even have opinions on who the greatest Family Feud host was (Steve Harvey is my personal favorite).
Family Feud is such a known entity in our lives that using it as a bit on a talk show spot like Jimmy does here with Claire Danes invites the audience to feel like their part of the show. Instead of looking at Claire Danes and Jimmy Fallon as these celebrities on a pedestal we see them flub on the rules of the game, curse, and laugh at each other all in a context we know and love. He’s invited us into their world and the intimacy and comfort we have watching him is so effective that I personally think there’s isn’t another talk show host who has a chance of outranking him in the near future.
The home button can be used to elicit almost any emotion…and remember emotion drives sales. If you’re trying to create an emotional moment of nostalgia there are certain foods – like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies that you could use in your imagery that would evoke that feeling. If you’re trying to evoke a feeling of safety (if you’re a security company for example) an image or video of a father giving his son or daughter a tight hug would be a perfect way to hit that home button.