Monday, June 27, 2016

Marketing is a Story

In 2012, I went to NYC to see Seth Godin in an interactive day centered around Pick Yourself [pdf] - and what to do when it is your turn. It also was about how important story telling is; failing; and the connection economy.

I just finished presenting the 4 week Marketing Workshop. I emphasized the story because we do a lousy job on telling the story. We talk tech, list features, push replacement products, but we don't market or sell really.

Peter Drucker says Business has only two functions -- marketing and innovation. All the rest is overhead. If innovation is built into the product, then the story, the marketing is baked in from the beginning. Think about Apple or Ruckus or Office365 or Google Fiber.

Seth Godin said, “Because marketing has shifted from me marketing at you, to you marketing to each other.” That means we have to (1) tell a story that others can easily remember and pass on; and (2) give people a reason to talk about us (word of mouth). We need to be Remarkable. We need to provide an incredible customer experience, like Zappos or Disney.

This also means that mass marketing isn't working so well. However, we can pretty much market one to one today. We don't need to print up 1000 postcards and mail them out. We can create a unique card for each person or company we are prospecting. [Seth wrote about this in his book All Marketers are Liars. Impact's review is a good summary.]

Seth "reminded us that underneath message and advertising, purchases are inspired by emotion.....Now, quality products and a great story must spark consumers’ interest and, combined with their own memories and interests, entice customers to purchase them."

What does, "it's too expensive," mean? It means that the story you told didn't resonate as valuable with the listener. When you don't provide or explain the Value, they buy on price. When they can't see the difference - and you don't explain the difference - then they go with price.

One more point: Comcast can blast advertise because they cover a wide swath of area and they don't care about people who are off net but marketed to. You are not mass market. You are boutique. You are not the low price provider of a mass market service. If you are marketing to LIT Buildings or installing FTTH (or FTTB) or providing fixed wireless or EoC, then you are target marketing and that can be done almost one to one effectively.

*If you need help with this - or want to bounce ideas off me, make an appointment to speak with me.

Other Links

Slides on Brand Story Telling.

Ford holds a conference every year about the trends it sees. In 2013 Seth Godin spoke. Notes from that talk are here . Ford's 2016 Trends report is here. Interesting read.

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