As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, many clichés will be uttered in the name of love. As you hear them, I want you to remember that in most cases, they don’t work as well as marketing maxims.

In fact, in general I might suggest that you shun Cupid’s advice when it comes to marketing your organization.  Let me give you a few examples.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Though this may be true in human interactions, buyers have a very short attention span. When your marketing is sporadic, or worse, nonexistent, you can’t expect prospects to think about you when they’re finally ready to buy.

Trying to reach our consumers, no matter what we sell, is a little like trying to time the market. The truth is, we don’t know when they’re going to be ready to pull the trigger. We do know that when they’re ready, typically they will identify three potential solutions and explore them. That’s why marketing’s job is to keep your product or service top-of-mind all the time so that when the prospect is actually ready, you’re in the short set of possibilities.

Love is blind:
While in human interactions it’s true that appearances don’t trump love, in marketing, love is definitely not blind. How you present yourself has incredible impact on your ability to capture and keep the attention of a customer. When it comes to marketing, this isn’t so much about attractiveness as it is about consistency and being true to your brand. 

Adhering to graphic standards that represent and promote your brand is vital to growing demand and brand loyalty. Consistent use of logo and brand colors begins to create a subconscious connection with your prospects and repeat customers. Pretty soon, if you’ve honored your brand’s visual guidelines, you can trigger a reaction every time you use the brand’s color palette or logo. Think how we immediately associate a red pop can with Coca-Cola or a brown truck with UPS. You can create the same effect.

Opposites attract: We all know couples who seem like they couldn’t possibly have anything in common, but who are deliriously happy with one another. Shows what we know. But that phrase doesn’t work so well when it comes to customers. The truth is, every business has what we call “sweet spot” customers. Those people who are the perfect fit for what we have to offer. One of the reasons they’re our best fit is that they see the world in the same way we do. They agree with how we approach our industry and the specifics of not only what we do but how we do it. 

Many companies go broke trying to be everything to everyone. Instead of embracing their sweet-spot customers, they chase after every dollar, no matter how bad the fit may be. The result of that is almost always a very rocky relationship that ends in an ugly crash. And then, that former customer runs around town (or your industry) telling people about their bad experience. You’re far better to avoid doing business with the wrong fits from the very beginning. 

All you need is love: In today’s economic times, I don’t care how much fun you are to work with. If you can’t generate results, you won’t get to stick around for too long. One of the marketing mistakes that many organizations make is that they don’t put the spotlight on the results and give them their due.

There you have it. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s Valentine’s Day-fueled parade, but when it comes to love clichés and marketing, it is definitely not better to have loved and lost. Instead, market smart and keep those customers for life!