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Marketers love shiny new objects.
And in today’s attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) marketing world, this just adds to the noise, confusion and eroding trust that consumers have with brands.
It’s also why so many brands are unsure and frustrated with their marketing efforts and results. Marketing at the highest level has become a race to nowhere.
Did you know the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is about four years? Why? Shiny new objects.
Churn. Burn. Repeat cycle.
While it’s easy for me to sit on my throne and pontificate, I’m actually fascinated and passionate about marketing, building brands and how the continued disruptive landscape makes the challenge to get right infinitely harder.
As an entrepreneur, it’s also what keeps me up at night as I try to better understand and reconcile the evolving marketing narrative.
Sadly, much of today’s marketing is vapid and lacks empathy.
“Even on the highest throne, we are all still sitting on our asses”
Michel de Montaigne
7.7 billion media companies worldwide
Well that’s not true actually, it’s the estimated population of the world in 2019. But the absurdly high number I’m using to illustrate my point is that in today’s connected world, everyone has the ability to produce content and distribute at scale.
Therefore, in theory, we’re all media companies – producing posts, images, messages, tweets, videos, blogs and so on.
The end result – we’re all competing for attention, not just brands…everyone with a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube/Pinterest account, a blog, website and an email address.
With an unlimited capacity and potential to fill the world with content comes limitless ways to market and distribute it, which is why there are over 402 million results when you google “best marketing strategies.”
Thus, the marketer’s paradox.
Slowing down the game
The best professional athletes in every sport all share a common trait – they’ve found an ability to “slow the game down” and in doing so are able to compete at an entirely higher level than their peers. (Think Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant and their ability to take over games and score at will – to always be one step ahead because the game was moving much slower for them.)
This is precisely what businesses and marketers need to do today to break through and have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Today’s marketers want to be magicians, snap their fingers and magically the ace of spades appears in their hand. The real world doesn’t work this way.
So, what should you do next?
First, take a deep breath, go back to the very beginning and reset. Revisit and get clarity of why you exist, your purpose and what problem you’re trying to solve for consumers and what unique value you bring to the market.
Next, clearly articulate and understand the story of your brand. Remember, good stories connect us to our purpose, our vision and allow us to celebrate our strengths and creation journey – how we got from there to here.
Simply stated, your marketing should be a projection of that.
Slow down and shift your business mindset back to its core origin – as Seth Godin likes to say, “people like us do things like this.” ‘There is no more powerful tribal marketing connection than this.’
Don’t chase shiny new objects.
Don’t start with a distribution channel. (“What’s our Facebook strategy?”)
Don’t constantly react to the marketplace.
Don’t play “intellectual tennis” with blathering marketing buzzards.
Don’t try to be the smartest marketing guy in the room.
There are no absolutes in marketing. Play the long game. Slow down, it’s not a race.
Your story driven brand is your funnel.
The ultimate marketing outcome is that your brand is sought out versus being found.
That your brand attracts and magnetizes like-minded people and gives them a story to tell and a community “tribe” to be part of.
Brands need to develop a marketing mindset versus a product mindset.
Before you spend your precious marketing dollars, remember this:
Market buzzards are tactical and one-dimensionally focused on selling products and services.
Market wizards are strategic, multi-dimensional and obsessed with articulating and amplifying your story-driven brand purpose and unique value proposition.
Perhaps, Peter Drucker said it best…
“The purpose of marketing is to make selling irrelevant.”
Until next time ~