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Better Bridges

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

The design and layout of a department store are deliberate. The sum of a thousand decisions, choices made to optimise the customer experience and maximise profit. Cosmetics on the ground floor, furniture on the top. The fewer people shopping for big-ticket items invest time ascending six floors. You could argue that the customers who go to the trouble of reaching the top of the store are the most motivated customers in it.

And yet often the sales conversation that happens when the customer gets there seems haphazard and unplanned. Despite the marketing jargon about sleep systems and orthopaedic grade mattresses, one bed looks like any other. The salesperson’s script is the bridge between confusion and clarity, indecision and conviction, an enquiry and a sale. The questions she asks and story she tells are also a set of choices that should help the customer to get to where he wants to go.

Our job as marketers, teachers and leaders is to build better bridges to enable the right change to happen. We can choose to do it on purpose.

Image by Jo Zimney

The Rise Of The Patient Marketer

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

The fact that we’re exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day is old news. Our lives are now designed to mitigate against being interrupted by things we don’t care about and never respond to. And yet, we often fail to acknowledge that the people we want to reach feel the same way. If we’re not in the market for having someone steal our limited time and attention, we can’t expect our prospective customers to be. They’re fast-forwarding, ad blocking, spam filtering, deleting and ignoring what’s irrelevant to them without giving it a second thought.

The good news is that the people who win in the attention deficit age are the patient marketers. The people who thoughtfully provide value. The companies that are deeply invested in creating lasting change and delivering as well as experiencing joy along the way. The marketers who are not interested in hustling their way to quick wins. The founders who are in business for the long haul.

You no longer have to worry about being the loudest, most visible, best-resourced business.
You’ve got time to take the long way round.

Image by David McAughtry

The First Marketing Myth

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Logic tells us that just because someone is aware of a product or service doesn’t mean they will buy it. We know that people are not short of choices. And yet when it comes to marketing our products and services, we prioritise awareness all the time. Logic goes out the window. We fool ourselves into thinking that attention and awareness inevitably lead to action.

You can buy attention, but trust and belonging are not for sale.
If affinity is the goal. How will you prioritise that?

Image by USAG

What’s Your Customer’s Context?

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

Yesterday I got chatting to Sarah in the street about the sofa she didn’t buy. Sarah, who has three daughters under the age of seven had been looking for the perfect sofa for ages. When she finally found the perfect one she put down a deposit on it and waited for it to arrive a few weeks later.
This sofa was $8,000.

The following morning she began to question her decision. ‘What on earth am I doing? I must be crazy to spend this kind of money on a sofa, especially when I have three small children.’ Sarah decided to cancel her order and keep looking. Which is why she was leaning on her gate telling me the story yesterday about the sofa she did buy. The sofa that was $2,200, with linen covers that can all be removed and chucked in the washing machine. The sofa that’s perfect for now.

We get caught up in the story we want our customers to believe. We obsess about finding the perfect words to express the value we create—often forgetting to consider the story the customer tells about what’s right for her.

What’s the story your customer is telling herself?

Image by Donnie Ray Jones

Back To Basics Marketing

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Our neighbours are having the outside of their house painted. It’s an old Victorian property, built in the 1800s with period features and delicate ironwork. I’ve watched the decorators come and go over the past couple of weeks. Seen them taking care to cover the original tiles on the porch, that could so easily be damaged. They’ve arrived on time and worked diligently. Several of the neighbours who’ve passed by have admired their work and asked for their business card.

I’m sure the decorators have a website, and I’m also pretty confident that they convert more enquires from the top of their ladders than they do from the contact form on their site. Sometimes the opportunity to tell the right story to the right people is hidden in plain sight.

Image by Peter Miller

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