Yesterday, my colleagues and friend sent out a link with the title: highly effective marketing. On top of being one of the best software architects I have ever worked with, my friend is also an avid guitarist and wood worker.
I watched the video with zero knowledge of wood working and was shocked by the lack of action. I waited for the full two minutes thinking that there would be a punch line, but alas, there was none. It was suprising enough that I wondered if my friend was joking about the video, but also wondered if I lacked some context to understand why this was interesting. My reply email might have compared the video to watching paint dry. My friend graciously explained that this video is astonishing to the wood worker because getting these kinds of results from a planer are astounding to watch and way more effective than words.
The result is that this vidoe is not trying to sell me, a non-wood worker, on a planer. However, to the wood worker, simply watching this person effortly create paper thin slices of wood is jaw dropping and the simplicity of the video only adds to its effect. After having this additional knowledge, I can see that this video does a good job caterring to its audience rather than making it interesting to me. This video would have felt differently if it had been done used car salesman style with lots of voice over, dramatic music etc. While I, the public, might have found it more interesting and understood more, the impact of the video to their target customer would have been significantly reduced.
Know what your customers are looking for and cater to them. Don’t be afraid to be “boring” to the public especially if you can utterly astound your customers.