An ancient parable chronicles the story of a group of blind men drawing an elephant. Each one of the men touches the elephant in order to learn what it is like. Each draws the part they have touched, believing it to be representative of the entire animal. This process of blindly drawing an elephant is a bit like marketing. The essential ideas of marketing are truly massive and diverse. In order to see the big picture you need to understand whole concepts, not just bits and pieces.
So, when creating marketing strategies, how do you see the picture? I subscribe to a basic “3 aspects” premise, in addition to a plan that entails 5 components and 2 caveats.
The basic premise: GOOD – FAST – CHEAP
Good: This means quality content written in your own words. So nothing thrown sloppily together or simply copied and pasted from an external source. It should be in-depth, creative, and thought provoking.
Fast: Once a decision has been made, implementation should be fast and efficient. This means no committees and no unnecessary research.
Cheap: By cheap we mean “an investment not exceeding the return.” Economics are important.
The 5 Components:
Contribution: Always offer something of legitimate value. This could be an information nugget, discount, or helpful links. Regardless of your industry, there are ways to contribute value.
Testimonial: When you say you’re good, the consumer is always doubtful. When someone else says you’re good the consumer is much more apt to believe it. Testimonials strongly enhance your credibility.
Brand/Logo: This could be something as simple as a consistent message. Whatever it is, the center of your marketing universe should remain the center of your marketing universe.
Memorable: What is a tag that is remembered in relation to the brand?
CWT: CWT, also known as Chinese Water Torture, or drip – drip – drip. Representing consistency of the same message is an invaluable key.
The 2 Caveats
Relationship: The bottom line is that everything sends a message, truly everything. Marketing is all about building relationships via multiple different mediums. Staying on point is essential; it cultivates a connection with people.
The challenge is finding unique ways to build relationships.
I’m reminded of a story about Nathan’s hot dogs, from the early days when the company had just been founded. Back then the public perceived the hot dog as unhealthy for consumption. Nathan’s, however, was going out of its way to be delicious and safe. One solution was hiring actors to dress as doctors with lab coats and stethoscopes to frequent the hot dog stands. In today’s terms, this went viral and the image of the hot dog as unhealthy rapidly dissipated.
AUTHENTICITY – I’ve observed POWER in being for real – present. Although difficult, when accomplished it is universally attractive.
Implementing marketing strategies using the 3 premises, 5 components and 2 caveats will provide a basic structure for successful campaigns. You’ll see the whole elephant, not just the tail or the trunk or the ear.