I sat down not long ago with two guys who have a terrific idea that solves a key medical problem. But they balked at the idea of marketing it. They didn’t want to sully their company. And now they’re struggling, likely to go under.

We’ve seen wonderful products and services fail when they weren’t adopted by people who would pay to put them to use. Having a righteous idea is not enough. People need to be persuaded to try it.

Like it or not, the marketplace of ideas is a thing

It’s hard to get people to try something new. Whatever you have, no matter how terrific it is or how many people it can help, everyone you’re trying to reach is already doing something else. The default answer to anything new is “No thanks.”

Despite the continual onslaught of messages we all work to ignore every day, there are ways to get worthwhile new products and services noticed.

Three steps to getting attention

1. Learn your audience

Most of your prospects are so focused on their problem, they can’t see the solution. So they will only engage with a message that leads with their problem and takes their point of view. Research shows that those messages are more likely to be clicked, more likely to be remembered, and more likely to spur people to act.

2. Focus on your why

Anyone can find anything online for a nickel cheaper. You want people to think of your brand as something for which there’s no easy substitute. That begins by getting them to think of you as more than just as set of product features. More on that here.

3. Get to the truth behind your brand

There is nothing so compelling as a true story. If you’re clear on yours, you can create messaging that people will pay attention to even when they’d rather not.

Our greatest joy as an agency is using disciplined persuasion to make the case for clients who help make the world better. When marketing attracts attention and builds the business of truly helpful things, it is a powerful force for good.

Next up: Being there is not enough