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Marketing

Should Your Company Have A Retail App?

Retailer mobile app use by consumers actually doubled last year, according to RetailDive.com. These apps are quickly increasing in popularity for good reason – actually two good reasons. They appeal to consumers for their convenience as well as their speed.

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Should You Market Your Company Via A Podcast?

You can, yes, absolutely. But the reality is it’s a little more complicated to get from can to should.

While many B2B firms use more traditional marketing vehicles to buy digital media, some are investing in newer ways to get attention, especially younger, more affluent, educated, business-oriented listeners. That’s a group of people many companies would love to target.READ MORE

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How Do Folks Respond To Your Marketing Efforts?

According to business guru Seth Godin, marketing efforts can be separated into two very different categories (https://seths.blog/2018/08/two-kinds-of-marketing/).

 

He divides marketing and advertising into those that inspire, delight and provide something we want – versus the kind that potential clients positively hate, such as interruptive popups, spam, high-pressure overtures, and overpriced hype.

 

Here at Focal Point, we couldn’t agree more. We frequently scratch our heads over pricey marketing campaigns we see that miss their mark because they over-promise, hit too hard, look like everyone else, or fail to leave a lasting positive impression.

 

There are all kinds of ways to attract new eyes to products and services. So why be offensive and in-your-face to gain attention when you can generate interest, enthusiasm and good will with marketing that is noticeably different.

 

As Godin says, “The selfish marketer is marketing at us, trading money for attention to sell average (or below average) products to disinterested people. The successful marketer is marketing with us and for us.”

 

If the end goal is strictly improving sales numbers, then getting your name out in front of people – no matter how its done – might well justify the means. But if you are interested in creating goodwill around your business and products, your goal is more long-term. You want repeat business and perhaps even (depending on your business) creating customers for life.

 

This means giving your audience something they can trust. Marketing that is believable and respectful, delivered in a way that is effective, responsible and memorable.

 

This type of marketing is tricky to get just right. But when it is, you know it and your customers know it. It hits the mark and leaves a smile or a good impression.

 

So how do folks respond to your present marketing efforts? If you don’t know for sure, or feel you might be heading in the wrong direction, we have some delightful examples we’d enjoy sharing with you.

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Dare To Defy Convention

Who comes to mind when you think about marketing strategies that defied convention?

 

  • Steven Jobs with Apple
  • Certainly the Volkswagen print ads of the 60s
  • Old Spice “The man your man could smell like” TV commercials
  • Proctor & Gamble’s “Thank you, moms” Olympics video
  • Dos Equis “The world most interesting man” campaign
  • Dove’s print series for “Real beauty”

 

You probably can picture each of these. They were memorable for breaking the rules. They gained recognition because they defied conventional marketing in some way. They looked at things differently. Or said or did the unexpected.

 

Taking the unbeaten path rather than the quick route is liberating. But that’s because you take a risk in saying, doing or picturing something in a very different way.

 

Turning the usual on its head, so to speak, is energizing. It’s also risky. After all, you could get it wrong.

 

For all the campaigns listed above, chances are very good that there were multiple tries for each strategy that didn’t work. That missed the mark. Those that worked found the sweet spot of heartfelt sincerity, as in P&G’s “Thank you” video. Or said something quirky and completely over the top, as in Old Spice and Dos Equis. Or questioned our values very visually, as Dove did. And of course Apple famously turned everything on its head, from innovation to marketing.

 

How can you get off of the safe and reliable path and onto producing marketing materials that are memorable and get talked about?

 

The easy answer is “take the unexpected route” with something that is funny, off beat, brilliant, or charming. Of course, how to get there is a whole different story.

 

The good news is that it is less expensive than ever to use social media to explore what works and what doesn’t. Shooting and editing video is more direct and faster than ever before. You can tweet a new tag line out and get immediate feedback before launching an expensive campaign.

 

Technology has made defying convention a breeze. You just need to be able to stop taking the safe route, take a deep breath, and open up to the possibility of different.

 

Marshall McLuhan said, “Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful daily reflections any society ever made of its whole range of activities.”

 

Question why you are presenting your services and goods in the way you are. Talk about the strangely curious aspects of your widgets. Invite different folks to your marketing table and gain new insight.

Then apply this new thinking to everything you do, from sales strategies to HR, product innovation to marketing new categories.

 

So — yes, project and reflect your organization’s values in unexpected, irreverent, exuberant, thoughtful, wild, and colorful ways. Why not? Taking an unexpected route just may open up a whole new path for you, your customers and your organization.

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Projecting Competence AND Warmth In Your Marketing

When anyone, company or individual, makes a purchase decision, that choice is based on a perception of product or service competence (credibility) as well as image (likeability).

 

We all readily accept that first premise. (We’re making decisions based on facts, right?) It’s the second one we sometimes have a hard time believing. After all, who needs warmth from a Samsung refrigerator? Don’t we just look at all the product’s features, then compare the Samsung to all the other brands, weigh in cost, and make the most rational cost-to-benefit determination?

 

Nope, not according to market psychoanalysts.

 

“In deciding whether to trust a company or brand, we weigh both competence and warmth,” say coauthors Maurice Schweitzer and Adam Galinsky in their book Friend and Foe, When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both.

 

“That means, according to Schweitzer and Galinsky, “people choosing a new product, service or brand are asking:

  • Does this (refrigerator) have the ability to get the job done?
  • Does (Samsung) have my best interests at heart?”

 

It makes sense when you think about it. When you take in any kind of advertising or marketing, you are “meeting” a company and their product. You are rating them in terms of competence for sure. But you are also swayed by your emotions.

 

Schweitzer and Galinsky say there are two elements at work here:

 

  • Credibility – the content of your marketing material shows you’re the subject matter expert (SME) they’ve been seeking, and
  • Reliability – you’ve helped clients and customers “just like them” many times before and you’re familiar with their needs and concerns.

 

So, even if you’ve worked hard to come across as the most brilliant and knowledgeable of providers in your niche, you still need to pass the “warmth” test.

 

Seeking that obvious warmth quotient is why so many ads employ likeable jingles, or warm and fuzzy family scenarios, or dogs in their commercials. But its also reflected less overtly, such as when your social media presents your organization and your employees as “real people”, with a passion for serving in your field (such as in blogs, Tweets, and other forms of social connection.)

 

Interestingly, sometimes that warmth can come through when you show your audience your own human failures as well as your successes, according to Friend and Foe. Humor does the same thing. Both methods can be a good point of connection – which is a big part of warmth.

 

So, ask yourself this question:

As business owners/marketers in today’s high-speed, click-on-it, research online, ADHD world, are you sure your marketing content demonstrates to online searchers that you are not only terrific at what you do, but you are also considerably warmer than your competition?

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