A friend of mine has developed his marketing mantra. It’s quite good and it goes like this:
- Markets are conversations
- Conversations happen around social objects
- Social objects are products or services that are remarkable
- Remarkable is not just something special, but something worth being remarked about
- A great product, and even better customer service are the most remarkable things you can offer.
I like it (although I’d change the first point to read “your market is conversing”), and it fits in with pretty much everything I hold to be self-evident: The TV-industrial complex has crumbled and in an age where advertising saturation makes it almost impossible to push your message out, the best way of marketing your product is to get people to talk about it. Social media, as a form of word of mouth marketing, works, but what if you’re not remarkable? What if no-one wants to talk about you?
What if you make brown shoelaces, or you have a brand of aspirin that does the same thing as all the other brands of aspirin? What if you don’t really have a story or you don’t have a chance to really impress your customers with amazing service… What do you do? Do you just give up and start something else?
Nope. You invent a story.
If you make brown shoelaces you get Bear Grylls to explain that if he was stuck on a mountain and needed to create a makeshift parachute, he would only recommend using your brand. You would start a YouTube channel with a series of videos detailing other amazing uses for your brown shoelaces and explain how they are the best. You would find bloggers who talk about running shoes and dress shoes and adventure shoes and you would send them free product samples. It would be so successful that people would start buying your laces to put in their brand new shoes because they would think that shoe manufacturers didn’t know enough about lace technology.
If you make a new brand of aspirin you would create a 1300 number that people could call and whinge to; you’d remove their headaches. This number would be advertised, radio presenters would copy the idea. You would setup a social community where people can talk about their headaches and you would get experts to jump online and give advice.
If you think your product isn’t remarkable, you’re not trying hard enough.