The Secret Ingredient in Content Marketing

I love and am always reading up on content marketing (or pretty much anything else to do with marketing) and I started to notice a common theme. There is a common theme for which all of your content should be based on and that is:

EMPATHY

Yup, that’s it.  What is it? Empathy is about vicariously understanding your audience and working hard to serve their needs.

“Seeing the world through the eyes of others gives you a competitive advantage because so few businesses have a disciplined method for doing so.” – Brian Solis

Ain’t that the truth! Preach on Brian!

So the next time you revise your customer journey map make sure its based on empathy journey mapping and I believe you will start seeing the results within a couple of months. Empathy isn’t cheap in this age of content shock. If you provide it to your audience in an honest way you will become more valuable that you ever thought.

Manpreet Jassal (@mjassal)

 

What Really is Customer Experience?

Finally started my own podcast after contemplating it for a long time. I hope to add value to everyone that listens to it. My fist conversation is with Jake Sorofman, VP of Research at Gartner. Hope you enjoy it! This is my first one so it can only get better from here.

We talk about Customer Experience and Why You Should Care!

Marketing Leaders Podcast (2)

 

 

The 4 A’s, C’s, E’s and P’s of #DigitalMarketing

Anyone that first formally started learning about marketing is familiar with the 4 P’s. Edmund Jerome McCarthy introduced the Marketing Mix which we now know as the 4 P’s. Professor Philip Kotler (who I love) popularized the 4 P’s even more in his 1967 book called The Principles of Marketing, which is now in its 16th edition. Here are the the famous 4 P’s:

Productitem that satisfies what a consumer demands

Price amount a customer pays for the product

Placedistribution of the product

Promotionmethods of communication that a marketer may use to provide information to different parties about the product

But now marketing is going through a paradigm shift and some are calling for these to be reinvented and change part of the mainstream thought process mix. Jagdish Sheth, Professor of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, wrote in 2011 a book titled “The 4 A’s of Marketing: Creating Value for Customer, Company and Society.” Robert F. Lauterborn, Professor of Advertising in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of North Carolina wrote in 1990 about the 4 C’s of Marketing. Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO, OgilvyOne Worldwide wrote in 2009 about the 4 E’s of Marketing.

Here is my breakdown of the A’s, C’s, E’s and P’s:

Acceptability—>Consumer—>Experience—>Product

Affordability—>Costs—>Everyplace—>Place

Accessibility—>Convenience—>Exchange—>Price

Awareness—>Communication—>Evangelism—>Promotion

The 4 A’s: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility and Awareness. According to Professor Sheth, “the 4A framework derives from a customer-value perspective based on the four distinct roles that customers play in the market: seekers, selectors, payers and users.”

The 4 C’s: Consumer, Costs, Convenience, and Communication. According to Professor Lauterborn, you have to start studying Consumer wants and needs, understanding their Cost to satisfy that want or need, thinking about Convenience to buy and communication that creates a dialogue.

The 4 E’s: Experience, Everyplace, Exchange, and Evangelism. According to Fetherstonhaugh, you have to stop thinking just about your product and start thinking about the full Experience, intercept consumers on their turf and on their terms, and that could be anyplace or Everyplace, offer your consumers something valuable in Exchange for their attention, their engagement and their permission, all to inspire your customers in becoming Evangelists for your brand.

All of these mixes have one thing in common: Creating “Value” by looking at marketing through the lens of the Customer.

I am sure there are more 4 letter marketing mixes out there but I really liked these because they are customer-centric. The 4 P’s for me stand as the foundation of any effective marketing campaign. Realizing we do have to speak the in the language of the customer I think the 4 A’s C’s and E’s are a great way for the modern marketer to get started in a world where demand for inbound/content marketing is increasing to provide a valuable customer experience.

Originally posted on LinkedIn on March 16, 2015.  

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

The Best Marketing Advice I’ve Ever Heard

I am a huge fan of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and I believe that Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose have been doing a phenomenal job of bringing insightful thought leadership around content marketing to marketers around the world.

I was reading a blog post on their site last week and they were interviewing Robert Rose and it gave me one of the wisest, most sound marketing advice I have ever heard. Just to let you know Robert Rose is the Chief Strategy Officer at CMI and he was talking about his new book coming out called Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing.

They asked him what was the most valuable advice you have given personally or professionally? He told them that his grandfather was a wealth of information and advice and years ago he shared this wisdom with him:

What experience have you created for somebody lately?

After I read that I thought to myself wow I can’t believe how amazing this is! I paused and thought about it for a minute. You can use this advice for so many areas in your life not just marketing. But since I had my marketing hat on (or turban) this is probably the best marketing advice I have ever heard.

Every day that goes by marketing now is becoming more of a customer approach, experience and service than just advertising. The way people want to be approached, engaged, acquired, and retained all relates to the experience your brand provides for them. Take any brand in the world, when customers think about them they relive the experience in the mind. Our job is to create the best possible experience we can through all the channels available to us in this digital business era. Going through that experience you learn a lot about yourself and your business.

My Instant Change: The steps I now take in formulating my marketing strategies should have a great and meaningful answer to the question “What experience have you created for somebody lately?”

Thank you Robert Rose’s grandfather!

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

1 Law and 2 Quotes I think about Every Single Day

I feel like I have been a marketer my whole life. Everything I do today doesn’t even feel like a job anymore because its part of who I am. That being said, there is 1 marketing law and 2 quotes that I think about every single day. I don’t try to think about them at all but they have become part of my DNA.

So Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote a book called “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!” The law that hit me hard right away was:

The Law of PerceptionMarketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perception.

The basic concept being all that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion. It doesn’t matter if product A is better than product B, if consumers think product B is better, facts don’t matter. This is why Apple has taken over in phone sales this year even though Andriod had more features and benefits years ago. Its very hard to change perceptions.

The 1st is from David Ogilvy who I (and most people) think is the Father of Marketing. He has written many books which are still a part of many marketers top ten lists. Ogilvy has so many quote attributed to him but my favorite is:

If it isn’t creative, it doesn’t sell.

Every time I look at a creative the first thing I think about is, “will this help me sell more of X, Y, Z?” Yes, the creative needs to look amazing but if it doesn’t get the message by engaging you in a further conversation, then it really doesn’t matter.

The 2nd quote is from Peter Drucker. What can I say about him, he is known as the “Founder of Modern Management.” When I first heard this in a keynote by Jack Trout several years ago, I went and read about Drucker. I love the way he said this, not even one word is out of place here:

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

Trying to be unbiased here as a marketer but Drucker got it right. If you think about the biggest companies in the world right now they are doing these two things: Innovating and Marketing (i.e. Google, Amazon, Apple, etc) Even Professor Philip Kotler said that the basic function of marketing is to “create jobs.” I encourage you to read all of the books by these great men and hopefully it will shape your marketing DNA as well.

My conviction is that companies that really follow these things consistently year over year will have a bright future ahead of them.

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

Mark Twain for everyone!

I love Mark Twain.

There are so many quotes by him all over the internet but this one really resonated with me.  When you actually find out why, your life changes instantly.

@mjassal

why Marketing matters all the Time! (Apple vs @SamsungMobile)

I wanted to get back to my roots and write about marketing today. So everyone knows by now that Apple came out with a new phone called “iphone 6” and a payment system called “Apple Pay”. Fanboys love it and all Android users say its lame. One of my friends on facebook posted this image:

iphone vs samsung

So this is where marketing comes to play and why it matters all the time.  Yes, the Android might have all the features in 2012 what the iphone 6 now has in 2014. So I am here to tell you all of that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s all about marketing.  Marketing is NOT a product features game (like the list in the image). If it was so many companies would be out of business right now.

MARKETING is all about conveying the FEELING of your product. That’s why beer commercials don’t tell you whats in the beer, they just show everyone having a great time with the hottest girls. Apple makes sure they point out all of their features but they also make sure that you know this is going to change your life forever. (It might not, but it just might)

Also, Apple has BRAND equity and a lifestyle attached to it. Samsung makes phones, tv’s, refrigerators, watches, laptops, speakers, cameras, washers, dryers, etc. A brand that has these many line extensions will not succeed in the cell phone war for the long term. They might do well but they will never surpass Apple in brand equity. I am not saying anything new here, this is just marketing 101. This is why amazon’s phone did not work.

Think about branding and culture, Tim Cook, Steve Jobs, Woz, “geniuses” are synonymous with Apple. Who does Samsung have?

Manpreet Jassal

@MJASSAL

The Future of Marketing is bright! (and some factoids)

The future of marketing is bright, very bright!

I am fortunate enough to work for the largest technology research company in the world: Gartner

The biggest Symposium in the company’s history happened last week and I got to be a part of it. Met the worlds most insightful and sought after analysts. Attended some amazing sessions on future tech/marketing progress. Very cool week.

Marketing is going to be ruling technology. Its fascinating. Marketing is leading the way and technology has not other choice but to follow and keep up.

New emerging role: Chief Marketing Technologist 

Some of my favorite factoids of the week from the Symposium: 

  • Google’s ad revenue surpasses the entire U.S. print industry
  • Amazon’s warehouse space would fill over 700 Madison Square Gardens
  • 55% of consumers share their purchases on a social site
  • Truth in advertising: only 14% trust advertising
  • Google pockets half of all mobile ad spending
  • Greatest obstacle to digital transformation: lack of vision to define corporate strategy

@MJASSAL

@ThePitch_AMC is a great show for all ad agencies. That’s it, really.

I am glad #ThePitch came back for a 2nd season on AMC.  I think its a great way for agencies (I worked for 2 in my past life) to see what works and what doesn’t.  The best part of the show is the briefing and of course the Pitch.  The creative process is great as well.  The part that I do not like is the personal stories of everyone.  I do not want to sound rude but most marketers and advertisers watch the show for the agency content not how many kids the ad exec has.

I remember the last episode of the young ad agency executives from mischievous studios, who were specialists in viral videos getting it wrong.  As soon as I heard one of them say, its all about “entertainment” I had a feeling they were not going to win.  The simple reason why: its not all about entertainment.  Its about SELLING. 

The holy grail in marketing: Entertaining the consumer while subliminally selling your product creating brand equity.   

Sell

Ad agencies are here to sell the product.  That is their #1 goal.  Entertainment is part of the goal but not the goal itself. Many agencies are forgetting the sales part. Do some research and you will find that the majority of ad agencies who win creative awards do not hold on to the client for long because while the ad might have entertained, the sales were very weak.

Overall, love the show and I hope it keeps on going even though the ratings are low.  I am sure it costs them very, very little to produce the show so it works.  I also love interacting with people via twitter while the show is on… very cool. Keep it going AMC!

@MJassal

Life Insurance and the Marketing for FEAR

Quick back story:

After getting all of my investing and retirement accounts in order a couple of my friends (one of them is a agent and the others father is an agent) suggested that I get Life insurance   I told them I already have term insurance and so does my wife.  They both told me that term is not good and I should get Whole Life Insurance. I asked them about the benefits of whole life and this is where the marketing of FEAR came out.  Here are some of the key phrases they both used:

– You might die broke

– Your taxes might be at 50% when you retire

– The world economy is so volatile you dont know when things will be stable

– The market (stock, financial markets) never returns anyone any real money

– You might die right after your term expires

– You need protection, term is not protection.

Since I am a marketer by trade, you have to know that these tactics do not work anymore.  10 years ago, maybe.  Right now there is so much information available to the common person that they can do their own research and look things up in an instant.  You should not market on fear since that does not do really well with anyone that has some sort of financial education in this case.

Only market on the benefits of the product. That’s it.  If someone doesn’t think the benefits relate to them at all or do not find anything useful in the product, then I would repeat the benefits or come at it on a different angle.  Marketing is about bringing value to the consumer not fear.  Needless to say, I did not buy whole life.

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal