Do you want curiousity or clients?

Do you want curiosity or do you want clients?

I saw this poster on a mailbox in Toronto the other day and it made me think about the whole effectiveness of posters.

Posters are often used to ‘get my name out there’. In fact, a lot of marketing is used in that way. Networking, handing out business cards, placing regular ads in magazines etc.

But ‘getting your name out there’ is different than building up a following (e.g. email list, facebook page, blog etc). Do you really want to get your name ‘out there’ or would you rather get their name ‘in here’ (e.g. on your email list)?

This is a vital distinction.

Here’s the big challenge with them. They work, for the most part, on the ‘cold’ level. The people who see it have never met you. There’s no relationship and no trust.

Ask yourself this: When’s the last thing you’ve ever bought something from a poster?


And when’s the last time you bought something because a close friend recommended it?

Double exactly.

Another challenge with posters: they are one directional (Marketing 1.0). It’s you talking at them. But, unlike with a blog or social media – they can’t talk back. And marketing has moved away from pitching into creating conversations (Marketing 2.0).

But! Here’s where posters can kick ass: when they’re placed in locations people are already looking for what you’re offering (e.g. a poster for your raw chocolate making class on the bulletin board of the local organic grocer). But random posters on random poles and mailboxes won’t work that well.

And even if it did have a lot of people call you – they’d be calling you cold.

Remember this: People who are referred are better. They haggle less. They walk in already liking and trusting you (or at least being open).

Do you want people to just see a poster and be curious? Or would you rather they called and started engaging with you? And when they come in for an appointment – do you just want them to be curious or would you rather have them already trusting you because you’ve done such a great job building a relationship with them and have already given them such great free value?

People being curious about you is seriously over rated.


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About Tad

  • this is an eye opener. i still want to make my own printed/sample posters and put them out there. strategically of course. i think it shows dedication and effort on my part. especially if they are different from what is usually going up. i like to make them 3-D, out of scrap paper found at the local arts junction. i figure if put just my name/logo on there with little or no contact info i am not bombarding them with too much right away. your thoughts?

    a real pleasure meeting you Tad. Hope the rest of the road treats well.

  • nigel – posters can be the best thing ever IF they do three things: 1) get people’s attention (usually a headline) 2) facilitate the buying process (usually by offering free education of some kind) 3) lowers the risk of taking the first step (usually by offering some kind of ‘pink spoon‘ free offer.