Ideas that spread, win.
Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.
Godin is the author of many books, my favorite of which is Purple Cow. We’ve all driven down highways passing cows. No one stops and says, hey look, a cow! But a purple cow? That is remarkable. You’d notice that. The keyword here is “remarkable.” It is worth repeating/telling someone else about it (making a remark).
Being good or very good is simply not enough because no one is going to notice it in a noisy world.
The thing to do now is be at the fringes and be remarkable in some way. This doesn’t mean you have to be crazy and weird, but you do have to differentiate in some way that touches those people who do care. Those people who will “raise their hand and say I do want to hear what you’re doing next” and they may tell their friends. What is the unique advantage you are offering? It may not be in the product/service itself, but in the way it is packaged, delivered, supported or even sold.
What makes you different?
I have worked with a lot of clients over the last 20+ years and it never ceases to amaze me how few can clearly articulate their differentiator. Even if you provide the same or similar service as others, you are unique. What makes you different? Why should someone choose you over the others? Do you care more? Do you have a unique background, skillset or interests that works to your advantage? Is it the specific niche you target? It can’t be price — that is a race to the bottom — someone can always undercut you.
In my case, it is my background as artist, designer, technologist and many years of experience working with a diverse client base. It is my personal attention and my processes. No one else is me, get it?
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
My best advice is – if you can’t answer what makes you different? – stop everything and figure it out now. Do not start a logo, a website or website redesign… dig deep and sort out your differentiator and who benefits and cares about that and why — they are your target audience. The Difference Map is a great tool to get you started. (I highly recommend the book Difference as well).
In the 1-Page Marketing Plan, author Alan Dibs talks about “Getting into the mind of your prospect. What do they really want? It’s rarely the thing you are selling.” He gives the example of someone buying a $50 watch vs. a $50,000 one. The latter is buying status, luxury and exclusivity, not simply a watch to tell time. Once you get into the mind of a prospect, you can craft your unique selling proposition based on the result they are after and create an irresistable offer.
He further explains how “people buy with emotions first and then justify with logic afterwards.” If your sales copy isn’t pushing one of the 5 major motivators of human behavior — Fear, Love, Greed, Guilt, Pride — then it is likely to be ineffective.
Putting the right stuff in front of the wrong people or the wrong stuff in front of the right people is one of the common marketing mistakes made. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to figure out who does care, why, and then how to reach them.