She Slapped My Face Hard With Her Notebook…

Sometimes you have to do the same thing to buyers.

I had a rough time of it in school when I was in eighth grade. It’s that particularly tricky stage in the educational system called “junior high.”

My parents took my brother and me out of our local parochial school and plopped us into the public school system. So for the fifth and sixth grade, I was in a new school and then transferred to my “old school” for the seventh and eighth grade.

My dad was originally irritated with the school principal at the parochial school, which is why we were moved. Then she left and he sent us back.

Anyway… all these “musical school chairs” stuff didn’t bode well for me when it came to fitting in with my classmates.

Lots of teasing. Some bullying.

And the irritating day when Laurie S. hit me in the face with her spiral-bound notebook.

We were sitting in a classroom, her seat was in front of my desk… and somehow I said something that irritated her.  I honestly can’t remember what I said. If anything, it was probably asking a question maybe more than once.

My nickname in grade school was actually, “I’m Sorry!”

Because I said the blasted phrase all-the-freakin’-time.  

All I know is that suddenly little Laurie turned around in her seat and walloped me in the face with her notebook.  I remember feeling more shock than pain.  How could Laurie do that?!!

Then I looked to Sr. Rita, her short, red hair sprouting up on her head like wild grass… her black horn-rimmed glasses perched on her freckled nose… and expected her to do something.

I mean… nuns back then could still be fearsome. Maybe not taking a ruler to fingers, but at least some type of swift punishment.

Sr. Rita just stared back at me.

And didn’t do a daggone thing.

I remember a mixture of feelings boiling up inside of me. Hurt. Anger. Surprise. And of course, the rallying cry of all insulted and offended young kids all over the country…

“This isn’t fair!!” 

And ain’t it the truth.

Life most definitely isn’t fair.

But I think more about that slap in the face when I consider what I do as a marketer.  Because I think it’s a good illustration of what marketing is all about.

Stay with me here… I promise it’ll make sense in a minute.

Let’s say you’ve got your perfect buyer be-bopping down the street… or more realistically… on the Internet’s street.  And she’s hanging with their friends… watching TV, eating a cupcake or whatever and generally enjoying her life.

You essentially have to run out from behind a tree and wallop her hard in the face with your notebook.

Disruption, baby!

It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

That’s marketing.

That is your HUGE challenge day after day, month after month, year after year.

Let me tell you the truth about marketing.  Most businesses either don’t have the guts OR the interest in walloping their perfect customer with a notebook.

Most businesses think that if they’re nice… and explain very politely why their solution is the best thing ever for their perfect buyer, then everything will come up sunshine and roses.

I really wish life worked that way.  I really do.  But it doesn’t.

Your perfect buyer needs a perfectly good walloping in the face and you have to do it.

You must do it.

Otherwise, you’ll be ignored.

Disruption is why you’ve got banner ads popping up to annoy you. Why many blogs (including my own) have pop-up forms. (They WORK.)

It’s why gossip rags like the National Enquirer sell like hotcakes. Why Cosmopolitan is popular… or BuzzFeed… and even the King of Disruption: President Donald Trump.

All of them get attention. And you have to disrupt something in order to gain the attention of your perfect buyer. I don’t use notebooks to do this, but I do know how to use words.

If you need some major disruption for your marketing, reach out. We’ll pull something rad out of a hat and virtually smack some sense into your buyer.

By the way, Laurie found me a few years ago on Facebook and gushed about how much she admires what I’m doing with my business. Go figure.

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About the Author

Mary Rose 'Wildfire' Maguire is a direct response copywriter, digital marketing consultant, and brand and email marketing fangirl. Tireless advocate for testing response. David Ogilvy is my invisible mentor, along with John Caples and Claude C. Hopkins. You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.