Search Results: average marketing

Average Marketing

Average marketing…..

Starts with the business’s emergency, not with the customer’s wants and needs.

Focuses on short-term tactics, rather than on long-term business goals.

Is designed to persuade not to connect, inspire or delight.

Invites the customer to buy, instead of to belong.

Speaks to everyone and so engages with no one.

Is only measured in hits and click rates.

Intends to interrupt.

Fosters indifference.

Is forgotten.


When we care, we create marketing and brand stories that do exactly the opposite.

Image by Kevin Lee.

Responsive Marketing

There are two approaches to selling memberships at the local gym. The first is to show the prospective member the facilities—highlighting the abundance of equipment and classes, and then to offer a ‘limited time only’ joining discount. The second is to spend time listening to the reasons why he wants to join in the first place and then to tailor the sales conversation to those needs.

Two Things Your Marketing Messages Must Do

1. Communicate to the customer that you have understood his unmet needs or unspoken desires.

2. Paint a picture of the customer as the hero of the story in the presence of your product (a lot of marketing messages have this backward).

Average marketing is filled with statements of fact. Great marketing is a response to the customer’s problems and desires. It’s the difference between, ‘this is better’ and ‘this is how we can help you to be better’.

Image by midwestnerd

The Downside Of Adopting An Umbrella Marketing Mindset

The fledgling entrepreneur is embarking on a career in travel. She has just completed her training and is aiming to abandon the 9 to 5 and earn a great living selling discounted flights and cheap hotel rooms. Today though she is working her day job at the beauty salon so she can pay the rent.

Her strategy for finding new customers is simple—she just tells everyone she meets that she is in the travel business and since ‘everyone loves to travel’ she is bound to get a bite from someone. She delivers the same pitch to the guy who fixes her computer at the Apple store and the suburban mum who pops in for a quick leg wax.

The misconception she has been sold is that everyone is a potential customer until proven otherwise and that all customers and the stories they believe are created equal. Of course travellers come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone wants what she’s selling, delivered in the way everyone else wants it.

While it might be convenient for us as business owners to adopt an umbrella marketing mindset, treating everyone like everyone else doesn’t work so well any more. Assuming that all potential customers are created equal and will respond to the same story if we can just deliver it often enough makes for undifferentiated, homogenous products, lazy marketing and disillusioned customers and frustrated entrepreneurs.

You didn’t set out to be average, or to make something for everyone and you don’t have to market that way either. Go make your customers feel like someone.

Image by Sascha Kohlma.

The Most Overlooked Part Of A Marketing Strategy

How often do our potential customers come to us and invite us in? That’s exactly what happens when someone visits an about page, they are asking us to tell them more and most of the time we blow it. We spend billions of dollars and countless hours every year trying to get people’s attention and yet we do an average job at best in the one place they come looking for us.

Your about page is the potential customer’s first step on the journey to becoming an actual customer. They are showing up there for a reason, willingly giving you their time and attention. They are asking to know more. It’s your job to give them a reason to come back or stay.

The purpose of the about page is not just to give information, it’s to help people to understand if you are right for them, simply listing facts about your company won’t do. Think of your about page as part of your marketing strategy and not just a placeholder on your website.

Then ask yourself the following questions before you begin editing yours:

  • What’s the purpose of this page?
  • Who is it speaking to?
  • What does it have to do?
  • How do I want people to feel when they read it?
  • What do I want them to do while they are here?

Here are some tips for writing a more compelling about page to get you started.

Image by Major Clanger.

Showing Value

Did you know that on average, a buyer spends less than half an hour in a property before deciding to buy it?

How the property is styled influences the price people pay, as much, if not more than valuations and comparable sales data. A good property stylist leaves room for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in the space—making them feel like it could become their place.

When we’re in the business of serving or selling, we are regularly required to demonstrate the value we deliver.

We need to help customers experience what buying from or working with us will feel like, often before a transaction has taken place.

We often do this with reason and logic alone, by competing on price, speed or some other hard metric. But it turns out that people don’t just want to know how much something costs. They want a sense of how their lives will be changed by our product or service.

We can all benefit from learning to show, not just explain the value we create. Marketing and sales appeal to the imagination, they are about showing and telling.

Image by Roberto Nickson

Making Sense Of Nike’s Controversial Ad Campaign Decision

Unless you’re an American football fan, you probably hadn’t heard of Colin Kaepernick before August 2016. Kaepernick, an African American, was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers when he was propelled into the media spotlight for choosing to sit (then later kneel), during the United States national anthem at the start of NFL games. Kaepernick was protesting racial injustice and alleged police brutality towards African Americans. His controversial actions divided the nation.

In a proud and patriotic country, Kaepernick’s protest was seen by some (including the president) as an insult to the flag and its military. To many, he became a hero. Despite the controversy surrounding Kaepernick ‘taking a knee’ during the anthem, other players followed his lead. Their pregame protests began to dominate the news during 2017 when the country’s president publicly criticised the players’ actions. Ultimately Kaepernick, who was thrust into the international spotlight, as a result, paid a heavy price for his activism, opting out of his 49ers contract early because he believed they did not intend to renew it. At the time of writing, he has yet to be signed by another team.

On 3rd September 2018 Nike revealed their new advertising campaign, featuring Kaepernick. The words, ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,’ followed by Nike’s, ‘Just do it,’ slogan, appeared on billboards across America. The reaction in the media and on social media was immediate. People who were deeply opposed to his stance and his activism took to social media to criticise the company. The U.S. president questioned what Nike was thinking in a tweet. Experts debated the wisdom of Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick the face of their campaign. Analysts watched the company’s share price and sales—looking for confirmation that its new, seemingly risky marketing strategy had harmed their brand.

Among all the speculation and the noise, one story seemed to confirm Nike’s foolhardiness. A former Nike customer, Sherry Graham-Potter posted an open letter to the company on Facebook, objecting to their portrayal of Kaepernick as a hero. In the letter, she wrote about how her life had been devastated the night her husband, a police officer, was killed by a vehicle while in pursuit of a suspect on foot. The couple had only been married a month. Their two young sons (from her previous relationship), who her new husband had raised as his own were bereft. Mrs Graham-Potter went on the describe how her husband’s death had left her broken. She couldn’t eat. She barely left the house. Then she told the story of the moment when she found the courage to go on. Even as she was grieving, Mrs Graham-Potter realised she had to do something. She had to move her body. So, she put on her Nike cap and went for a short run. For those few moments on the road, she felt like a ‘normal person’, and that feeling kept her going.

Here’s some of what she wrote;

“That black cap became a symbol to me, it is sweat-stained and its shape is gone, the buckle in the back barely closes; but that hat represents my family’s rise from the ashes. It stands for the strength and the sacrifice we made loving a man who had a job that we all knew could end his life, every time he walked out that door. And it did. And I accept that.

I still wear this hat, I wore it on my run this morning.
And then I heard about your new ad campaign.”

I quote Mrs Graham-Potter here, to show how the campaign divided Nike customers. But also to point out that what the Nike brand symbolised for her at her lowest moment aligns with the company’s mission. And to perhaps shed some light on the reasons why Nike was willing to take the risk of making Kaepernick the face of their campaign.

Nike’s mission is, ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ The company’s conviction is that they have the power to change how people feel about what they can achieve when they wear the Nike logo. Shelly Graham-Potter’s heartfelt words about how she gained strength from that Nike hat likely gave the team at Nike the courage to weather the storm surrounding the Kaepernick campaign. Nike’s decision about what story to tell was based on their beliefs about who they are as a company and the change they’re here to create for whom. They followed through on that, knowing that their decision would polarise people.

Marketing analyst, Professor Scott Galloway, declared Nike’s decision as ‘genius’—the ‘most gangster marketing move of 2018’. According to Galloway, the Kaepernick campaign also stacks up commercially. He estimates that of Nike’s $35 billion in annual revenue, $20 billion is generated overseas. Two-thirds of Nike consumers are under 35 years old. They are likely to live in urban areas and have above average disposable income and a progressive worldview. Extrapolating from this data, Galloway says that Nike risked $1-3billion in revenue to deepen the brand’s connection with customers who represent $32-$34 billion in revenue.

We sell storytelling short when we think of it as only the means to get attention. Stories, well-told are the way we make an emotional connection with the people who believe what we believe—which is why the most successful brand stories aren’t for everyone.

Image by Michael Casim

Thanks to Lori Fields who inspired this post.

Being Seen And Heard

The numbers vary, but the trend is unmistakable. The average consumer is subjected to more marketing messages every day. In a world where it’s harder to get noticed marketers have responded by trying to be more visible. Being noticed is the goal of most marketing.

The irony is five seconds in the spotlight doesn’t make or break a career or a company. It’s the five years of work that preceded those five seconds that make all the difference.

Our goal isn’t simply to been seen and heard—it is to do work that’s worthy of being seen and heard.

Image by Blahu

What’s Your Failure Strategy?

Everything runs like clockwork when all staff members show up for the hectic Sunday morning shift at the cafe. Customers are greeted at the door, informed about delays and offered a drink while they wait for a table. The whole system falls apart when one team member calls in sick. Waitstaff double as greeters and coffee runners. People forget to prioritise, service is compromised, and customers get disgruntled.

Every business has a success strategy. We set targets and create plans to achieve them. We imagine how we will perform and serve customers on our best days when staff show up on time and everything is going according to plan. It’s much harder to plan for failure. We don’t devote the same time and resources to imagining our next move for those times when we have to deviate from our original plan. We’re unprepared for failure because we don’t always think about what could go wrong and what we will do when it does.

The server might crash.
The package may get lost.
The email might offend.
The salesperson could have a bad day.
The marketing campaign might not perform as you hoped.

What then?

The difference between an exceptional performer and an average one is that they prepare for their ‘off’ days. It turns out that we do our best work when we plan for failure and success in equal measure.

Image by Garry Knight

The Story Makes The Product Better

For three decades, 10% of the population of the tiny Welsh town, Cardigan, made jeans.

35,000 pairs every week.

Then one day the factory died, and the jean artisans could no longer practice their art.

They simply had no way to do the thing they did well, until Hiut Denim was founded.

Now the company’s ‘Grand Masters’ make a handful of jeans each day. Each pair has a unique number, and a ‘History Tag’ that the owner can register on the website, to begin adding the memories associated with wearing their jeans.

Hiut are telling the story of a product built to last, and they are encouraging their customers to consume less by attaching meaning to the things that they love.

“We make jeans. That’s it. Nothing else. No distractions. Nothing to steal our focus. No kidding ourselves that we can be good at everything. No trying to conquer the whole world. We just do our best to conquer our bit of it. So each day we come in and make the best jeans we know how.”

Hiut didn’t just make an average product, then try sticking a marketing story on as an after thought. They made the story part of the product, and the story makes the product better.

Image by Don Shall.

The One Thing To Remember About Website Traffic

It wasn’t going to be cheap, but Anna figured that she’d outsource all of her online marketing to a company who knew what they were doing. She’d spent the past two years working really hard to build her service business offline, and was hugely successful at converting customers face to face. Now in a phase of expansion and growth, Anna decided to target strangers as well as friends.

The five figure marketing company came in and rebuilt her websites. They optimised everything to within an inch of its life, making sure that search engines would love, and more importantly find Anna. Her website visits increased, but her visitors didn’t stick around and crucially they didn’t bother to pick up the phone or email either. Anna was stumped, she’d done everything right, but she began to think that her business wasn’t capable of converting people she’d never met, or who hadn’t been recommended to her. She was wrong. Blinded by a marketing tactic, Anna had forgotten one thing.

Behind every website traffic statistic
is a human being who wants to matter

Anna’s website might be optimised for search engines, but it wasn’t optimised for soul and emotion. Everything that Anna knew about connecting with people offline had been stripped out of her online presence and that mattered to potential customers.

Google can’t really optimise what the non-average, exceptional, client you would kill for wants to buy. Google can’t optimise your purpose, your heart or your soul, your art or judgement, your professionalism, enthusiasm or intention. It’s your job to give people a sense of that even if you’ve never met them.

How are your optimising for soul and emotion? What kind of SEO are you doing?

Image by Alexandra Galvis.