The presentation began as most do. The presenter began flipping through a series of PowerPoint slides that he’d pulled from the company’s internal marketing database. They contained all the traditional basics, including the dreaded We Are the World opening–ya know–the one that makes your company sound like a Clint Eastwood character in a spaghetti western?

Most of the time, customers sit dutifully through these sycophantic preambles…well, except for this day…when one of the customers decided to add color commentary.

“Yeah, we know that you’re the best. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

The presenter smiled and advanced to the next slide that talked about the company’s quality.

“Quality? Well, I sure hope so,” the customer said sarcastically.

The presenter advanced to the next slide that contained platitudes of industry dominance.

“Look, we know that you’re awesome and everyone loves you. Can we move on?” The now-emboldened customer proceeded to bark the word, “NEXT!” with each subsequent self-aggrandizing slide.

I find it astonishing that more than ten years into the Content Marketing movement, marketers haven’t relocated their We are the World sections to the appendices of their presentations. Is the information important? Sure. Purchasing from the industry leader is an important piece of information for a buyer–but only AFTER customers conclude that the product meets their requirements. Putting the bravado-cart before the functional-horse is not only unproductive, it’s disrespectful to audiences who are obviously no longer willing to sit passively.

Take a look at your most recent marketing presentations. Do they contain We are the World sections? If so, would it really hurt to move them to the appendix as backup sides?

 

Photo Credit: Sarony & Major, Lithographer. One of the news-b’hoys / Lith. of Sarony & Major. New York, 1847. New York: Published by T.W. Strong. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2003664125/.

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