Strategy

Your Problem

It's daunting, perhaps even depressing, when as a business owner you realize that your marketing takes almost as much time as your business itself. 

Yes, I know, you’d rather focus on your business, and let the marketing take care of itself.  But gee willikers that’s not how it works.  Good marketing takes personal investment i.e. time.  But you don’t have the time.  Well, you might, but you probably don’t have the time to do your business and your marketing both well.  Or, you could hire a Madison Ave agency, but you probably don’t have the funds.  So, something will suffer.  Both your wits and your marketing will look frazzeled.  And this problem plagues many business owners.  That’s why it’s best to focus on what you do well, which is your business.  And let the professional marketers focus on what they do well, which is marketing.  

Your Solution

Since we're being super duper honest here, you already know most of what to do. The challenge is getting it done right. But...your marketing is not right.

(Spoiler Alert–That’s where I come in.)

There’s no easy button for marketing.  It takes hard work.  It takes time.  It takes an investment of energy, money and resources.  It’s like exercising.  We all know we should exercise, but very few of us are good at exercising all by ourselves.  Most of us need motivation to exercise.  We need the right environment, the positive energy of others–even strangers, and sometimes a personal trainer holding our feet to the treadmill.  We do it better together.  It’s called being human.  And the simplest way to pull your marketing out of a tailspin is to get someone else to help make it fly.  You can’t do it all by yourself.  You’re still a good capable person; you just choose not to pull the remainder of your hair out.  Heck, you’re smart when you enlist good help.  Soon enough, you start to see progress, and the good vibes begin to kick in.  This is called momentum–moving in the right direction, and it feels great!

"You don't need a Ted Talk guru to sprinkle magic butt dust on your project."

How does one capture the rainbow of fruit-flavored good feelings?  Stop the sugar junkie bantings of the Gary V guru fanboys for starters.  And get some substantive discipline going in your business.  There’s so much wisdom in ‘Just Do It.’  But do what?  Hustle like a millennial late for final exams?  Just to prove you can regurgitate some empty marketing buzz words?  I suggest no.  I suggest developing a real strategy, then implementing it, then measuring results, then making adjustments, and reimplementing again.  Done, but never done.  These are the basic steps which work; now just do it, and keep doing it.  And never stop doing it.  That’s how you map out a winning game plan.  Forget the trick plays and easy buttons, just work the basics and move the ball forward.  A disciplined approach more often wins in the end.  Waiting for the right hedge fund billionaire to come along, or the best time to enter the market, or more feedback from your customers to come through, means you’re already looking for the exit.  Because those are excuses.  Winners don’t check the weather.  They don’t care who their opponent is.  They don’t need a Ted Talk guru to sprinkle magic butt dust on their project.  Winners just get to work.  And winners get help from coaches who know how to work.  

Your Assignment

If you’ve got a pulse, and you feel it slightly up, that’s because your gut is telling your brain to pick up the phone and text me.  Listen to your gut.  Because you already know you need a coach, so you need to take the next step.  Put one foot in front of the other my friend.  Let’s do this.  Your progress begins now.  918-820-0593 -Jeff

OK Jeff, I'm tracking with you, but I'd like to know a little more about ____________ first (insert your topic here).

Whatever you want to put in the blank is fine with me.  But is that question going to make you the most money?  Could I offer you an answer to probably the most monetarily valuable question in all of marketing?  At the risk of rubbing a few accountants the wrong way, financials are not the only way to justify a business decision.  In fact, if you let the spreadsheet gods steer your business, you’ll probably play it safe, and take fewer calculated risks.  But risks are important.  They’re inevitable really; but, the key takeaway here is you can choose your risks.  Risk tolerance and risk selection is what separates the Gates from the Bates, the Musks from the Husks.  These guys learned that humans are not entirely rational.  And in fact, most progress and innovation is accomplished by the irrational side of the balance sheet–that is people who take risks with their gut and not their minds.

"This is marketing. Stop listening to data scientists and accountants."

For proof, you can go to the library.  There are business books on said topic.  But for my take, let me offer more witicisms.  Such as:  Data is a great measure for science, but a poor measure for human behavior.  For example, tensile strength is great for explaining architecture costs, but cannot explain whether a building will be beautiful.  Or, research explaining how humans perceive color cannot explain the need for art galleries.   Data is good for explaining the value of a project on paper, but not so good of explaining value as it relates to people.  The reason is because data is objective and people are emotional.  Even if the overpaid college professors argue that people are just responders to the laws of supply and demand, you know in your gut that people are mostly not objective, and, by far, more emotional in how they make decisions, and even more importantly, how they perceive value.

"There is always two reasons for doing a thing: one is a good reason and the other is the real reason.” -JP Morgan (attributed)

Alas, let us take another swig-n-example.  An economist or data scientist would argue there’s no possible way that people would pay money to watch a magic show.  Because there’s no such thing as magic.  So why would anyone pay money in exchange for nothing, or for something of no value.  And worse yet, why would anyone leave feeling entertained or happy, for they simply paid to see nothing, or something that physically doesn’t exist?  It’s because, although there may be no scientific value in a magic show, there is still, undeniably, real value.  The value is perceived.  The buyer liked it; they traded dollars for vibes; extra value was created; and that’s all that matters.  Good marketing is like magic because it creates extra value in the mind of the consumer beyond that which is present in the physical product itself.  Often, objective reality has very little to do with it.  And for some reason this is hard for accountants and data scientists to remember.

A Short Silly Profound Story

Why her butt selfies made millions and proved the experts wrong.

(how all great post-modern clickbait begins)

Once upon an Instagram there was a Kardashian…who took a profuse many pictures of her gluteus.  People noticed.  Then more people noticed.  Eventually people started paying her to hawk their products.  Today, she helps them sell a crap ton.  The end.  And the moral is….the size of your butt er following matters.  There’s no objective reason to buy a $600 purse.  Wal-Mart gives away semi-functional plastic bags for free.  Except for the fact that Kimmy posted a selfie with purse of foreign origins, no one would care.  And really, there’s still no economic reason to buy said purse; but, now there’s a more powerful reason–a social reason.  People do what people do, even if it’s wasteful, nonutilitarian, showy, selfish, even destructive.  People don’t care about your product de obscurity until a trend-setter displays it on their arm.  So people rationalize their wanton envy, gladly coughing up the moolah to put it on their arm.  So if you’re taking notes, here’s your formula for good marketing:  Message=>Perception=>Emotion=>Decision=>Rationalization.  When the elements flow correctly, your desired behavior occurs.   Even simpler:  An engaging message encourages desired behavior, common sense be damned.  Rationalization is the last element.  Emotion, in this case envy, comes first.  And instinctual emotions are the best motivators.

"Reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational." - Elizabeth Kolbert

Emotions always precede motions.  So instincts are more important than rationales in marketing.  Instincts/emotions are, as J.P. said, the real reasons why people like or don’t like your marketing.  Rationales are just the good reasons they tell themselves and their friends.  So if you want your marketing to be most effective, remember instincts first, rationales second.  Of course, use both to strengthen your pitch, but lead with the real emotional reasons first, before people lose interest, and then follow up with just the good rational reasons.

So for Kimmy and her purse fans, we could say real reasons to buy are:  Social standing, sex appeal, lifestyle, etc.  And good reasons are:  Utility, quality, product life, cost-benefit analysis, etc.  And if you really want to make a product or service even more desirable, try to add in self-preservation, love, social standing (probably in that order of importance).  Like catnip, except for people, those are the big instinctual motivators.  We must satisfy these needs.  Good rational reasons only make a product nice to have.  But, real emotional reasons make a product a must-have.  And the creme de la creme of purchase motivation is survival; if you can do that.  Admittedly, it’s hard to do with your average consumer product, but anytime you can honestly tie your product to someone’s survival, it makes it mandatory.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Try not brushing your teeth for a couple years.  You absolutely voluntarily won’t do it.  Fear of embarrassment is the real reason.  Preventative dental health is the good reason.  See, you can practice doing this with many products you see at the store, or with commercials you see on TV.  It gets easier and easier to tell which emotional buttons the ad agencies are really pushing.  And when you throw in social proof, especially with testimonials and number of likes and followers, it’s even more powerful.  When a lot of other people are doing something, it’s an easier decision, because you don’t have to think about reasons to explain it.  You don’t want to miss out, look odd, have your teeth fall out, etc.  People do what people do.  Because people tend to defer thinking to the collective wisdom of the mob.  And if you have an instagator pushing your wears, then people are more likely to follow in your throng. And now you can encourage them to do the things you want.  It’s not manipulation, it’s a permission-based value exchange.  And when this concept drives your marketing, you rack up profits faster.

Use these tools respectfully my friends. 

And if you want me to show you how, edumacate your accountants, or just do it for you, then reach out right away.

Contact Me

If you have a big budget, I’ll probably respond sooner