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What The Best Marketers Do

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

I’m not sure when our attitude to marketing shifted. But it’s likely that it coincided with our ability to buy attention. The price of reaching more eyes and ears on flyers and billboards, radio and TV, seemed cheap compared to the effort of earning customer loyalty day after day.

The great marketers of two generations ago knew a reputation could not be easily bought—but it could be quickly destroyed. They didn’t try to be seen. They devoted the majority of their time helping their customers to feel seen.

That’s what the best marketers still do. They don’t shout, ‘look at me’. They whisper, ‘I see you’.

Image by Jeff Stvan

Create The Future You Want To See

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

The best investment I ever made in myself and my business was buying a copy of Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. Seth taught me that remarkability was a choice. Just as business owners don’t work just to pay the bills, writers don’t write just so they can eat. They write to create the change they want to see in the world. That’s what we’re all here to do.

My new book, Story Driven: You don’t need to compete when you know who you are, published a few days ago. It’s my most important work. That’s why I’m launching the Kindle eBook edition at the special price of 99 cents this week. I’m not only inviting you to invest in yourself by buying a copy. I’m encouraging you to invest in your friends and colleagues by gifting the book to them.

You can buy and gift Story Driven today on Amazon.com, or if you’re in Australia, Amazon.com.au and the UK, Amazon.co.uk
(It’s available in all international Amazon stores. Search your local Amazon store by title and author).

We get to choose the future we want to see and the chance to create it together.
Thanks for giving me a reason to write.

Image by Kieran Jiwa

How To Craft A Powerful Message

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

The acceptance speeches are the highlight of every Oscars ceremony. I’m a sucker for them. It’s fascinating to see how the best communicators in the world share their personal message in a just minute or two. This year, actress Frances McDormand stole the show. This wasn’t an accident. Frances knew how she should craft her message to create the change she was seeking. And while our delivery may not be as fabulous as Frances’, we can get better at crafting more powerful messages by following these three steps.

Three Steps To Crafting A Powerful Message

1. Determine the who
Who is your audience?
Why are they here?
What do they care about?

2. Work out your what
What do you want the audience to know, think, feel, say and do as a result of hearing your message?

3. Work on your how
How can you craft and deliver the message in a way that helps you to achieve your goal?

All great storytellers begin with the end in mind.

Image by Kevo Thomson

Make Fewer Promises

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

It’s a Saturday night. Jeff, the on-call Planning Enforcement Officer for the local council, is just about to sit down to a takeaway meal and a movie with his wife when his phone rings. Residents close to a new nightclub want him to come and assess the noise levels at the venue. Even before the conversation starts, Jeff is not primed to listen. What he thinks is a good outcome—getting the caller off the line in the quickest time possible, doesn’t align with what the caller thinks is a good outcome—Jeff dropping everything and getting around to the nightclub in the next thirty minutes.

Misaligned expectations are the greatest source of dissatisfaction in any service interaction. You can’t begin to satisfy or delight your customer unless you are prepared to meet his expectations. Two things need to be in place to make that happen. Firstly, you need to understand the customer’s desired outcome. And secondly, you need to have the resources and the willingness to meet it.

If the last thing Jeff wants to do when he’s on call is get in his car to investigate complaints, then it’s unlikely he’ll satisfy ratepayers. The way he handles incoming calls is affected by his desire to enjoy a quiet night at home. His tone will be defensive and his manner abrupt. The organisation does more harm than good by having a 24-hour hotline that sets the expectation that an officer might visit in an emergency if that’s unlikely to happen.

Excellence is about making fewer promises that you always keep.

Image by Nathan Rupert

Choosing To Be Better

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Every business begins with a choice to be better. Not necessarily to be better than the competition, but to be a better option for the people it hopes to serve. As we become mired in the day-to-day work of business building, we can lose sight of our original intention.

Nike’s Bill Bowerman chose to be better at creating innovative shoes that would enhance every athlete’s performance. The company is still making the same choice today.

Kate Reid chose to make better croissants. She’s gained international recognition and built a thriving business by staying true to that intention.

What did you choose to be better at and why? How are you staying true to that choice?

Image by eMeow

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