The MadAveGroup Blog
The MadAve Blog (321)
On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I'm reminded of a word that we use a lot around our agency: passion.
It would be impossible to watch Dr. King's 1963 speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial and believe that he was anything less than passionate about his dream.
More than 50 years after he spoke during the March on Washington, his thoughts still inspire and stir. His impactful words, his delivery, his focus and emotional intensity all came together in that moment and left a lasting imprint on humanity.
Passion is contagious. It excites and moves people to action. And when it's the force behind a sincere message, it can be hard to stop.
Are you passionate about what you're doing? Do you believe in your work and your message so strongly that people around you can feel it? And how are you expressing that passion to a larger audience?
It's the beginning of a new year; a time for fresh starts; a chance to get better.
The problem is that, when it comes to making resolutions, many of us bite off more than we can chew. (It's great that you'd like to lose 30 pounds. Just don't expect to do it by Wednesday.)
When working on behavioral change, experts recommend a slow and steady approach with plenty of attainable mini goals along the way to provide motivation
That's one way to improve your marketing in 2015.
First, choose one major marketing goal you'd like to achieve by December 31st.
Next, use the rest of January to identify 10 strategies (and the accompanying tactics) that will help you reach that goal. Then, prioritize those strategies based on how tough they'll be to execute.
On February 1st, implement the most difficult, most time-consuming of the ten strategies.
On March 1st, start on the second-most difficult strategy, while still working on the first.
Continue to add the next strategy on the list at the top of each new month, while working on the others you've already started. In December, make any last-minute adjustments necessary to reach your goal, and evaluate which strategies and tactics worked and which didn't.
That slow and steady approach can help you stay focused. It may give you the time you need to improve certain skills or processes. And it will allow your marketing momentum to build at a manageable pace.
Whether you need to cut costs or you just enjoy getting more for your money, you're going to like this idea.
They still derive the many benefits of On Hold Marketing, but without spending a dime. Sometimes, the company even makes money on what we provide for them.
To learn how they do it, and how you might turn a marketing investment into a profit center, read this valuable post on the BusinessVoice Blog.
Storytelling is an effective way to connect with your customers. It allows you to share your brand's core values with a much softer sell. And, when done well, your stories are more likely to be actively shared. That reduces your need for paid media.
Take a look at the heartwarming story UPS tells in the video above.
It doesn't focus on how many packages they deliver every day or brag about their logistics system. Instead, it tells the story of one little boy and the special day he had because of the company's efforts.
And, as of the date of this post, the video has been watched more than 2.5 million times on YouTube alone.
UPS also invites its audience to become a part of the story by sharing their own wishes. And each time someone uses the hashtag #WishesDelivered, UPS donates $1 to a charity.
You can tell stories about your business, too. With memorable, authentic content, you can encourage an emotional connection between your brand and your customers, all without using a single stat or tag line.
Make 2015 the year you start to tell your story.
RELATED POST: Marketing to Your Future Employees
The start of the "gift-giving season" reminded me of one of my favorite videos from last Christmas.
Check this out. It delivers strong evidence of how a smell can trigger memory, evoke emotions, and transport us instantly to a different place or time.
While watching the video, think about your company or brand. Could it benefit by making a deeper connection with your customers?
During this hectic, competitive time - and all year long, for that matter - would you like your brand to stand out more in the minds and memories of your customers?
For an increasing number of brands, a signature scent is an important element of that type of differentiation. Learn more about Aroma Marketing.
Many of the tools you use to distribute your marketing messages - email, websites, social media, etc. - are much different than those employed by marketers 60 years ago.
Yet, the purpose of your messages is probably the same as those of past generations. Engage your audience. Address a need. Create an urge. Offer a solution. Communicate your value. Differentiate your brand.
In other words, the delivery methods may change, but the goals really don't.
The same goes for how you and your staff should treat callers.
You might not identify with a rotary-dial, desktop landline telephone from 1952, but the same basic phone skills and etiquette that were important back then are still important today. Maybe even more so.
See a few specific examples of how your grandfather's telephone skills still work today in this BusinessVoice blog post.
Forty-five years ago today (October 1, 1969), singer Loretta Lynn recorded "Coal Miner's Daughter," a true-to-life song about her childhood in eastern Kentucky during the 1930s and '40s.
The song was a number one country hit in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 1970, and is arguably the most famous page in her extensive songbook. But more importantly, "Coal Miner's Daughter" has defined Loretta Lynn's personal brand ever since its release.
It served as an inspiration for her 1976 autobiography, as well as the 1980 movie based on that book and the film's soundtrack. The title is on her tour bus and above the entrance to her home. Each time she walks on stage, she's introduced as The Coal Miner's Daughter, and it's that song that ends each one of her concerts.
Whether she set out to write a theme for herself or not, the song resonates with listeners because it's true, and people feel that! There's no pretense. No attempt to impress anyone with fancy lyrics. It just tells her story, and makes her immediately sympathetic and relatable in 2 minutes and 58 seconds. (It also happens to be a great record!)
So, what's your brand's story? The real story, not a mission statement concocted in a conference room and loaded up with marketing-speak.
Are you staying true to that story? Sharing it wherever you can? Living it?
Then, think how your story can serve as a compass when considering everything from what you make and how you make it, to who you hire, how you cultivate your corporate culture, which causes you support, and, of course, how you market.
Sometimes, even the most obvious choices don't turn out to be the best choices a bit further down the road.
Take VoIP, for example. It stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Basically, it's a method of delivering telephone calls via the Internet.
For many years, VoIP has had a lot of I.T. and operations folks excited. Unfortunately, VoIP can also reduce the benefits that the Sales and Marketing departments derive from the phone system.
If you work in marketing and your company is considering VoIP, please protect your own interests. Take a look at this post on the BusinessVoice blog called "3 Things to Look for When Switching to VoIP," and then became part of your organization's conversation about VoIP.
How many fireworks displays have you seen? A couple dozen? Maybe 50?
But have you ever experienced fireworks like this?
You've probably seen more than a few piles of junk too, right? In a scrap yard, on a city street, even in your own garage. But did you ever think a junk pile could look like this?
The lesson: If you want to see something differently, change your point of view.
- When you're charged with finding a unique solution for customers, first imagine yourself in their shoes. What would you want if you were one of your company's customers?
- If you need to create advertising that encourages your audience to act, start by considering why they wouldn't act. What are their possible objections to your product or offer, and how can you overcome them?
- Rather than asking the same standard questions, ask seemingly unrelated questions. The answers may lead you to new insight and an entirely unexpected approach or solution.
- Talk with a whole new set of people for input or inspiration.
- Work in a dramatically different physical environment today.
- Begin even the most mundane task or project by asking "Is there a better way?"
Most people only see fireworks from the ground, but now you know how much more amazing they are when you can fly right through them.
Dare to change the way you look at everyday challenges and become the innovator who gives your team, your industry or even your world a new perspective.
RELATED POST: Want New Insight? Look For a New Point of View
Have you ever had to listen to a voicemail message more than once because the person leaving the message rattled off his phone number too quickly for you to comprehend it?
I've had to replay dozens of messages for that reason.
I'm pretty sure most folks don't get hopped up on Mountain Dew and amphetamines before using voicemail. So, why do so many phone numbers seem to whiz by faster than we can process them? And what does any of that have to do with your marketing?
Part of the problem is that we - as recipients of the message - aren't familiar with the combination of digits in the phone number or their unique rhythm. So, if the caller gives his phone number as one steady, ten-digit stream, we'll need to reach for the replay button.
But if the caller breaks up his phone number into several bite-sized chunks - for instance, 866 (pause) 473 (pause) 97 (pause) 33 – and then repeats that sequence, we'll be more likely to hear it and jot it down correctly.
In other words, just because a sender knows the specific elements of his message doesn't mean a recipient will process and retain the message properly.
The same truth applies to your marketing.
You may know everything there is to know about your company, but if your marketing messages are too long, too technical, too detailed, or not created with the recipients in mind, you may leave your audience confused, disinterested and looking elsewhere for solutions.
Take a look at your marketing content. Do you gloss over authentic brand promises and the value you deliver to potential customers just because that information is so familiar to you?
That basic story about who you are and what you do needs to be told more often than you might suspect. And it needs to be told clearly, in those bite-sized chunks, and with your audience's perspective in mind.