Why Leave a Hole in Your Marketing?
Everyone’s got something to “sell.” It might be a product, like a book. It might blur the lines between product and service, like a blog. It could be a new process in a workplace setting. Or maybe even a bowl of green beans, to a fussy toddler.
What’s a writer, a manager, a parent to do?
Matthew May, in his book In Pursuit of Elegance, suggests that a good “salesperson” will leave a hole in his marketing—some missing piece, some mystery, a space for others to add their voices and creativity.
About a week ago, I decided to try May’s idea for myself. I was getting ready to “market” this series, and instead of simply announcing it, I engaged people in a missing-pieces game.
Between comments at the blog posts where the game was played, and comments on Facebook, about 100 game-related comments were generated altogether. Not only did the game create more response than usual on my blogs, it also increased traffic and, most importantly, it created a space for readers to make their own meaning— resulting in delightful jokes, banter, poems, and philosophical musings (no one did a Cheetos sculpture in response, but Cheetos did eventually enter the conversation, as they are wont to do when Duane is nearby).
The challenging part of leaving a hole in our marketing is that we can’t find one “game” and continue to play it. Mystery resists formulas. Still, there are some principles to help guide the way. What are they? I probably shouldn’t say, ‘til next time.
(Got ideas? I’d love to hear them.)