Home > Uncategorized > Why Should I Care Who Jack Is?

Why Should I Care Who Jack Is?

I’ve just had an email land in my editorial inbox from something called ‘Who’s Jack’.

Honestly, I don’t care enough to read and find out.  Because this, kids, is how you do not market something.

What do I mean?  Well, I’m a editor for a London university’s student mag.  Mostly I improve other people’s spelling and language, occasionally I write.  Often I spend my time talking stuff through with our esteemed editor about members of staff and planning how to survive if/when our budget gets cut out from under us.

I already read a lot – I go through papers, blogs and even some magazines, so when I get something coming my way, I’d expect there to be a reason for it.  But not in this case – and worse, it has a cover featuring of Jedward.

Not only did I suddenly lose interest, but I puked over my keyboard.  (The ‘(‘ sign now has carrot stuck under it.  This is Jack’s fault, whoever Jack is).

Because I don’t care about Jedward.  I barely cast half an eye over the West End as it is.  And my idea of cool clothing is T-shirts with one-liners on them.  Most of my magazines come with political jokes, hot goth chicks, exotic recipes or pictures of Spock on the cover, not some gurning muppets with known only for their ‘There’s Something About Mary’ hairstyles and for ruining the Ghostbusters theme tune.

And I don’t know why I’m receiving this, because there’s absolutely no message or comment with it.  Am I receiving this because I may want the work?  Because, as someone in the game, I would show solidarity at their effort?  Because I live in London and like to go out?  Because someone signed me up?  Because I might want to appear at an upcoming Jedward event with a pickaxe and matching bodybags? Why, damn you, why should I care?

Answer, there is none.

But the point about this isn’t about them – it’s about us.  The first rule of marketing is to know something about your customer.  If they don’t have a reason to care about your product, they’ll be angry at the intrusion (where did they get my email, anyway?).

If they weren’t the kind of people who could be hooked in, you’ve just wasted time on a non-customer.  When we discuss content there’s always the thought behind everything of ‘why would students care about this?’ Sometimes it’s practical, like how to houseshare without killing each other.  Sometimes it’s about important changes to the uni, like the 3 modules piece.

And sometimes it’s because we’re undergrads and should show some intellectualism, damn it.

And when we pimp the resulting mag, we do so on student groups.  I’m not saying our marketing’s great (mostly because I think ‘non-existent’ is a more accurate term’), but we try to get it out to people who, like us, will care.

Because it doesn’t matter how much one writes; one is nothing without an audience.

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