The Challenge of Marketing a Boring Piece of Shit — Quick Thoughts

“My product’s wrapper is beige to reflect the despair I feel whenever I have to write about it.”

Illustration by @TheVunderkind

As soon as digital marketers get into a dimly-lit room to hand in their score sheets, the commentary is almost the same as those found on the lips of sore losers in a game of FIFA:

I wasn’t that interested in playing this game. Next round, you’ll see!

‘We were coasting this month, doing the minimum possible, testing to see by how far ‘word of mouth’ would help organic awareness.’

I used France, is why. Lemme use Argentina in the next game — I will win then!

‘I wasn’t working with the right agency. Or the right in-house team. Or: the graphic designer/copywriter wasn’t too good with creating vivid CTAs for the overall campaign. Even, I came to find they had already created and defined our Unique Selling Proposition and it was a shitty one. ‘

My pad is baaaaaddddddd. You won because you used the gooooood paaaaaddddddddddd! (>_<)

‘The product is booooooooOoooooring and difficult to market. You are marketing an exciting product. Heck, it would be easy for me to turn out great ROI too if my product was as sexy as yours is.’

Laudable excuses, these ones, but the fact remains that you are a digital marketer, a fly is a fly and a bear indeed shits in the woods. What is a bear without its proverbial faeces, a fly without its airborne proclivity and a digital marketer without much to show by way of actual, you know, marketing?

Boring Product, or Painfully Uninspired Marketer?

I agree with you that some products are naturally boring. Some might even say that selling insurance is about as energetic as twerk timed to an Adele song, but before you kick the product/service, explore affinity audiences. They might just be the key.

The people who might be interested in your insurance might not necessarily want to see the tepid marketing that such a thing usually requires, but those people tend to intersect with an audience that is in a more, ehm, pressing category.

Take health for example. If a man recently feels a lump below the belt, he starts Googling, lands on WebMB (where he is perfunctorily pronounced dead, as is WebMD’s MO) and starts figuring out a million and one things.

Imagine a hypothetical life insurance ad follows any male internet user above 45 in Nigeria who searches for ‘prostate cancer’. Say the ad has the text ‘NOBODY HAS TO SUFFER JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE FROM CANCER. Click here to insure your family!’**

Imagine that.

(**Okay, maybe that was a bit extreme, but you get the idea.)

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