The idea for this post about using callouts to promote a product or service came from an e-newsletter that popped into my inbox recently. Written by Marcia Yudkin of The Marketing Minute, it was entitled “Crown Neglected Content or Products.” That title piqued my interest.
Ms. Yudkin notes, “When you have a lengthy lineup of products or services, the usual practice is simply to highlight what’s new”—often in a callout box next to a product. But she points out that this technique doesn’t just work for new products. It’s also highly effective for “older or unjustly ignored contenders.” Callouts like “Worth a look!” or “Best Value,” in my opinion, can function rather like a guerilla re-launch.
My local library, the wonderful San Mateo City Library does callouts for new books, of course. (I’ve enjoyed many a Quick Pick.) But it also does something wonderful for older books that may not be circulating as well as it seems they should. And that is to create displays around a theme, such as containerized gardening or World War II history, essentially calling out worthy content. These books are available for check-out, and they carry the library’s implicit endorsement of their merit as good reads.
Another real-world example
I get occasional mailings from a purveyor of ridiculously expensive skin care products. The most recent was for the company’s “Employee discount event — Save 50% on our favorites!” Sprinkled throughout the brochure were testimonials from customers and employees as well as the callout “Employee Favorite.” Yes, this is advertising, but it also delivers a message that prospects tend to trust. As Ms. Yudkin puts it, “If those who deal with this stock day in and day out have particular affection for this item, I figure it merits my attention.”
In my opinion, callouts are a wonderful, simple way to boost excellent products that may have been overtaken by the novelty of the new. A sucker for hope in a jar, I’m not ashamed to say that I fell for the pitch.