Last week was the 37th anniversary of Schoolhouse Rock. The short educational cartoons debuted on January 6, 1973. I mentioned this fact on my Facebook page and the response was tremendous, with people recounting their favorite songs.

Amazingly, after close to 40 years, an incredible number of Generation X’ers still remember songs like Conjunction Junction, I’m Just a Bill and Three is a Magic Number. To this day, many of us can still recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution thanks to Schoolhouse Rock.

How would you like your brand, company or product to stick in people’s minds like that? Whether you’re a salesperson prepping a presentation or a CEO planning your company’s long-term marketing strategy, here’s what business professionals can learn from this classic Saturday-morning staple

1. Keep It Simple
Schoolhouse Rock managed to distill the complex process of how a bill becomes a law into a 3-minute song. Was it a comprehensive explanation? Of course not. Not only was such detail unnecessary, it would have been counter-productive.

The more details, the harder a message is to understand and remember. The way the cartoon explains the legislative process, a five-year-old can grasp it. Can the same be said for your sales and marketing materials?

2. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Repetition aids memory. In each song, the key concept is repeated several times. And each cartoon was repeated every few weekends. Repetition aids memory. In your sales presentations, repeat your key points several times. In your marketing campaigns, choose frequency of impression over the sheer number of people reached. Because repetition aids memory.

3. Make It Catchy
Schoolhouse Rock lyrics are catchy. They just seem to stick in your head. (“Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here…”)

How can you make your sales presentations and marketing materials catchier? Borrow the tactics great writers employ:
• Stories
• Characters
• Alliteration
• Metaphors
• Similes
• Rhyme
• Meter
• Onomatopoeia
• Humor

4. Have Fun!
The reason we Gen X’ers learned all this math, grammar, science and civics is that we had no idea it was educational. We just thought it was fun. Nobody wants to be “educated.” (What images and feelings does that word conjure up in your mind?) But everyone wants to have fun!

In fact, a survey conducted by Britt Beemer for American Demographics found that 70.1% of respondents would switch to a different vendor if the company was more fun to do business with. And the beautiful thing is, having fun can cost you little or nothing!

Keep these strategies in mind as you put together your next sales presentation or marketing effort. Your message will stand out from the crowd, connect more effectively with your prospect and be more memorable.

In other words, IT WILL ROCK!

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