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Is Marketing and Advertising the Same?

Or is marketing something so much deeper?

Think for a second about the habits that pepper your workday. Okay, forget your workday; let’s just focus on your busy morning.

Alarm clock: the shrill stab of the fierce reality of your night’s end; coffee: the steam mounting over the freshly ground beans; commute: red break lights piercing your vision as you try to look around the traffic; emails: the overwhelming reality that you receive more spam today than your did yesterday. Boardroom meeting: the pleasure that your department is thriving and surpassing all previously set goals.

Some rituals are pleasant; some are taxing. But all of these daily habits are chapters in your day’s story and each chapter adds meaning to your life’s journey. Yes, even the alarm clock!

This is true for our customer’s lives as well.

If our 20 years of marketing experience within nearly every possible industry has taught us anything, it is that customers need story not advertising; they need connection not distraction. We have found that the best way to reach customers and influence positive change is NOT by cluttering people’s lives with more products, services, emails, or tasks, but by punctuating their day with moments of joy, connection, and positive interruption.

In other words, if your customers look forward to reading your email in their inbox (as they painfully sift through and delete your competitors’ emails and junk alike), you have fostered that positive interruption and joy.

It’s connection; not advertising.

How might you do this? Become their story’s Guide.

#1 – Create compelling content that your audience enjoys coming back for.

Consider Amazon. Think about how much America loves shopping on their platform. They make online shopping easy, painless, and QUICK. They understand you are busy; that you have too many things on your plate; that you are working too hard; that your kids are sick; that you don’t have time to shop … unless it is painless.

They created a platform that takes away the pains of the day: there are no sales clerks to ask dumb questions; no shipping options to slow down the checkout process; and everything you need, they have. And that is the key.

#2 – Change the way people feel.

Consider Starbucks. If we took a poll to see how much a cup of coffee should cost, we guarantee that over $4.00 a cup wouldn’t be the median answer. Starbucks helps their customer’s feel important, cared for, and, most importantly, a part of their growing movement toward the coffee-house persona. Perhaps, we could argue that Starbucks is a status symbol. But most important, Starbucks uses the medium of caffeine to effect and impact the way people think. Stand in a Starbuck’s line at 6am in the morning and you’ll see what we mean.

#3 – Solve a problem, please!

Consider the multiplicity of Yoga apps on your phone. Yoga is a growing movement among the masses, with multi-billion dollar clothing companies riding this train as the proof. But how many out-of-shape, overly busy, and completely inflexible Americans today travel to a yoga studio to practice? DoYouYoga released that, after studying 10,000 “yogis” in 147 countries, over 46% of them do their practice at home and alone.

But how? 7 years ago there were only a few DVDs on the subject and replaying the same practice over and over again was mentally taxing. The point of yoga is to be guided through a tried and true (millenniums old) practice by a guide or teacher …

Enter Yoga apps. Their quick and successful proliferation proves that marketing is not about advertising but creating products and services that solve real problems for real people.

#4 – Create Story.

Consider Kickstarter. Pre-ordering products has always been problematic for marketing departments. It is hard for your customer’s to justify spending $50 today when the product won’t ship for another 6 months. Its pure economics. $1 today is worth $2 tomorrow. That is one of the foundations of a free market economy.

Kickstarter flips the tables; it makes $2 tomorrow worth more than $1 today. How?

It creates a meaningful and participatory story that its audience not only joins, but is actually highlighted as the true hero! It says, “Come into my story and I’ll make it your story.” And that changes the world.

#5 – Make It Easy!

Consider Netflix. Gone are the days of driving to rent videos to watch on a Friday night; gone are the days of flipping through the channel’s to “see what’s on;” gone, even, are the days of RedBox controlling the market.

Netflix created an online and easily accessible platform for people to interact with on a daily level and inside of their daily routines. With one simple login (and monthly payment), their customers have access to whatever multi-media based entertainment they want: documentaries, movies, tv shows, etc.

In a sense, Netflix changed the world without making their customers’ worlds any different. They are always online and now their entertainment is also online. And that, my friends, is “making it easy!”

Whatever you do, make your customer’s live joyful, make them feel important, solve their problems, depict them as the true hero, and make such connection easy.

If you need help clarifying your message or punctuating your marketing, give us a call and we can help! Our team of dedicated storytellers can help you clarify yours.

Written by: Daniel Griffith on December 19, 2018

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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