Alrighty… here we go! Today Allen is going to share four ideas that will help you market your idea, organization, blog, etc.
Speaking in my best announcer voice…
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN… ALLEN MOWERY!
The Internet is becoming the number one resource of choice for consumers as they research companies, products, and ultimately life decisions. Let’s take a look at several fundamental points that will help solidify the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
1) Be Willing to Change with the Times
This is key. As stressed earlier, times are changing. Some of the methods that might have worked the best for you in the past may not continue to generate the results you need to stay on top. Marketing is not an event, but a process… It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end. You need to be willing to improve it, perfect it, even change it if necessary. If required, do not be afraid to “think outside the box.” Be creative; do not just do something because, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it before.” Do not be fearful or run from new ideas and approaches to
2) Be Different
Society today is constantly being bombarded with mediocre advertising from all directions. Because of this, radio commercials are subconsciously tuned out, television commercials all blend together, and magazine ads are just those annoying pages you flip through to get to the real content. That’s not to say that these advertising venues have no merit, but many people have become immune to the status quo. Define what makes you different, and then market yourself in a creative manner. In his book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, marketing guru Seth Godin says that the key to success is to find a way to stand out–to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins. Find what makes you different. Okay, so maybe you are just a monochrome cow. If nothing else, at least convince your market that you are different from those around you. Take for example Wilbur, the “some pig” from Charlotte’s Web. He was a simple, ordinary pig, but with Charlotte’s strategic marketing campaign was able to convince the Zuckermans and surrounding community that there was more to him than met the eye. My personal recommendation is to actually be different, but you can always use this option if you find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel.
3) Connect with Your Audience
As Orvel Ray Wilson once said, “Customers buy for their reasons, not yours.” Learn what your market’s needs are, and see what you can do to accommodate. If they only want the coffee maker that brews a traditional cup of dark-roast coffee, then don’t try to sell them the one that does hand shadows and origami while playing “Stairway to Heaven!” However, there is a thin line between effectively providing your market with what they want and convincing your market that they need what you have. But that’s another discussion for another time. David Ogilvy was once quoted as saying, “If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language in which they think.” If you cannot connect with your target market on a certain level, do not be afraid to move to a “different level” of communication and understanding. For campaigns targeted at specific sectors, an integrated and personalized direct marketing campaign is a much more efficient way to connect with your audience.
4) Educate Your Customers
This is a culmination of points two and three. “No matter what your product [or service] is, you are ultimately in the education business,” says Robert G. Allen. “Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their lives.” Develop an understanding of what makes you and your business unique, and then communicate that to your customers. Show them specific ways in which they would benefit from working with you as opposed to one of your competitors, once again, in a manner that is on their level. Change can be good. I shudder at the stories my grandparents tell about taking baths in a galvanized tub with no heat during the winter. And Heaven knows I’m glad I didn’t use a typewriter for this article. There was once a time when I was single, and I thank God that my “marital status” has been “updated.” So do not be afraid of change. As we are at the beginning of a new year and near the dawn of another decade, set a list of goals and priorities, and adapt your
marketing to achieve the results you want and deserve.
Allen exits stage right as the crowd roars approval!
Thanks Allen for sharing these thoughts with us! And guys, if you want to see more of what Allen is doing and thinking you can check him out at any of these links: