Five “Pins” to More Successful Marketing

As we all know, Pinterest and Instagram have become staples on the social media scene. The right visuals (from photos to quotes to inspirational messages) have great appeal and serve as motivation for many.  With that in mind, here are some interesting visuals coupled with some content concerning marketing issues that face marketing teams almost daily as they work towards creating the change in the way people use and interact with their company’s products or services. Short, sweet and fun.  Click away! Beautiful Day

The average attention span today is roughly 9 seconds…like that of a goldfish. Nine seconds to communicate a message, earn a little bit of loyalty, build a little bit of trust so you can continue the conversation before your customer starts getting distracted!  So what could you possibly say in that time or less to get someone’s attention? It starts with presenting your message in clever and unexpected ways. It grabs people’s attention and has them focusing on the message and not thinking about the other stuff that could come into their mind. They’re engaged and captivated. In doing so, it allows you to persuade them, get them to trust you, get them to believe you, get them to want to connect with you. A shift in perspective from speaking about yourself to speaking from the audience’s point of view can be remarkably effective.  Witness a beautiful commercial for a British online content company featuring a blind man whose original cardboard sign talks about himself, “I’m blind.  Please help.”   But when a caring passer-by changes the words to be more audience-focused, something powerful happens. The symbolism is powerful. To read more, click here.

Shiney

Social media as a pathway to sales is almost certainly not going to work to the degree you want. There…I said it. While social media can be a valuable marketing tool, it’s not magic and it cannot and won’t replace everything that came before it. There’s no quick success and very few programs break through. Coca-Cola says it can find no correlation between “buzz” on Twitter and actual unit sales. Nissan admits it has no idea if social media helps it shift cars. MasterCard can’t tie its social investment to revenues. Don’t take my word for this. Go online and do your own research and see for yourself. In fact, there remains little evidence social media does anything to boost brands’ bottom lines. So then why use social media at all?  The reason is that it is an impactful vehicle for empowering advocacy and we know that’s extremely important for brand health and profitability.  Social media, if done right, can capitalize on what brand equity your company has already built up. To read more, click here.

Crazy PeopleWhen was the last time you/your marketing team asked the question “I wonder what would happen if we ________.”Crazy ideas have changed the way we go about living our lives.  Knowing this, why is it that many marketers still don’t trust the crazy idea when it shows up unexpectedly especially, since crazy ideas, not safe ideas, are the game changers that propel companies forward?  In today’s competitive, me-too world, if your product isn’t a legitimate leader in a category, it’s certainly a far better choice to come up with a new value story around your own product or service rather than trying to compete price-wise on the value that was generated by a competitor. You might want to be thinking about a crazy idea that will create a new meaning around your brand. Embrace that mindset so much so that the next time an idea is presented by your marketing department and someone outside of that department says “That’s a crazy idea,” you’ll say, “Thanks, we love it as well!”  To read more, click here.

Middle of the Road

If you want to have passionate customers and dedicated partners, you must first inspire strong responses.  But as you attract fans, you’re also bound to get the critics or “Haters.” It’s OK to have some folks (not too many, though) who will not like your brand.  The undeniable reality is that if you’re not eliciting a negative response from someone somewhere, then you’re probably not that fascinating to anyone. Think about it, even Apple has Haters as does Starbucks and it hasn’t hurt them.   Alternatively, you have the advocates, evangelists, loyalist…the Lovers. They don’t just buy your product or service, they also accept price increases and forgive occasional “issues.”  They’re loyal and not just buying your products for price or utility.   In the middle are the Lukewarmers. They have a really bad habit of not caring.  They won’t buy your product unless it’s the cheapest or most convenient option which means they’re only buying you until a cheaper or more convenient alternative comes around. In today’s marketplace, this middle ground is death!!  Not caring is not buying. Not caring is inaction.  The world is not changed by people who sort of care or don’t care at all.  Stop focusing on the Lukewarmer.  Start by having your marketing and advertising be imaginative, original and fresh.  To read more, click here.

Ben and Jerrys

Having dealt with all sorts of companies and people, I believe the Number One reason for boring  “vanilla” marketing messages is the result of trying to please all the people all the time. Fighting the desire to be all things to all people lets you: 1. Stand out from the herd; 2) Attract the like-minded; and 3) Create stronger connections. Vanilla brands might not have enemies, but they also don’t have passionate advocates whose enthusiasm spreads.   In order to win the race, you can’t stand still. Vanilla marketing is standing still. To stand out, to be different, to be memorable, takes boldness. It takes being “a real Marketer”. So, however you go about it, stop defaulting to dishing out plain vanilla marketing and start scooping out interesting flavors (think “Cherry Garcia”; “Chubby Hubby”; or “Chunky Monkey”, etc.) that stand out and are uniquely your own. To read more, click here.

So there you have it. 5 visuals that speak to different marketing challenges and opportunities. Maybe these visuals will stick with you for awhile and even change the way that certain projects, campaigns and programs are developed and executed.  Seeing is believing.

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Rolf Gutknecht is vice president, director of account services for LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Rolf on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Rolf on LinkedIn.

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