I got back from holiday on Friday.
Grace and I took the boys to France for a fortnight, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best and most relaxing holidays I’ve ever had – if you want recommendations in the Loire Valley or the Dordogne, let me know!
It was with a heavy heart that we rolled into Calais Ferry Port on Friday morning (via a supermarket so we could do a final stock-up on wine and cheese), but it was lightened somewhat by the “marketing” on display as we waited to board the ferry.
With thousands of consumers passing through every single day, just sitting in their cars waiting to board with nothing else to do, you’d think that the multiple billboards and massive screens littered all around the port would be quite effective.
And they probably would be, if just a tiny bit of thought went into the message being broadcasted.
But sadly that sort of thought appears to be beyond the marketing team at Port Boulogne Calais.
Instead, they’d filled the billboards and the screens with two specific calls to action:
“Follow us on Instagram” and “Subscribe to our YouTube channel”.
I was intrigued to see just how well this marketing was working, so I checked both platforms to discover that they’ve managed to generate 348 Instagram followers and 17 YouTube subscribers.
Let’s face it – this is unsurprising.
No one wants to follow a ferry port on Instagram, and even fewer people will be interested in subscribing to a ferry port YouTube channel.
1. When you’ve got a captive audience, appreciate who they are and what they’re interested in.
It’s only when you do this that you can understand how best to communicate with them and bring them closer to you.
The ferry port is an example of an opportunity wasted, but businesses everywhere make the same mistake by failing to match their marketing with their prospects’ desires.
2. Don’t decide which media you want to use before considering whether it’s appropriate for your market.
No one in their right mind will be looking forward to new YouTube videos from a ferry port, but because the ferry port has selected YouTube as their media of choice, that’s where they’re putting all their energy.
It seems absurd, but it’s exactly how countless of other businesses behave – selecting a media that’s entirely wrong for their market, and then paddling against the tide in an upstream battle to try and make it work.
Market, message, media. In that order.
P.S. While I was away I forced Grace to listen to the Melt Design podcast that I recorded with Matt Eldridge a couple of weeks ago.
I’m not sure how interested she was, but given that it’s all about how to write copy that sells, I figured you might be – click HERE to give it a listen.