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

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

Marketing with Peter Drucker

I was listening to Jack Trout this weekend and he quoted Peter Drucker ( who is hailed by BusinessWeek as “the man who invented management”)

I really liked what he said and I am a little bias since I am a marketer but its true.  Right now marketing and innovation seems to be number 5 or 6 right after sales, finance, production, and technology.  I hope organizations start realizing this simple concept once again.

“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.”

– Peter Drucker

Peter_Drucker_Coach_Library_TV1

 

Manpreet Jassal

@MJASSAL

How Vanguard does “social media” better than most companies @Vanguard_Group

I started investing last year after doing many months of research on where I should put my money. I ended up going with Vanguard and could not be happier. I am a big fan of indexing and fortunate enough to have Vanguard index funds in my 401k at work. (BTW, I recommended that everyone have index funds in their 401k – you can thank me after 25 yrs)

Being a marketer, I definitely follow Vanguard on Twitter and Facebook to see how a financial powerhouse like them use social media.  To my surprise, they are awesome. Social media is all about customer engagement but most companies use it as just another distribution channel. Social is all about engaging with your user base.  Getting feedback, answering questions and thanking your users from time to time is what its all about! Of course you want to push your content through social channels but it should only be about 20% of what you should do.  Vanguard has it all right.  I have asked questions through twitter, commented on Facebook, asked for some SWAG through these channels and received a response within 24 hours (and also my swag within a week). They always end the conversation with saying thank you to me for engaging with them.  They do A LOT more but I would encourage you to engage with them to find out for yourself.

The best surprise so far:  I received a thank you card from them for engaging on Facebook. Which is a great idea and was shocked to see it in the mail.  Even more shocking they gave me an extra blank thank you card with a note saying:

“Pay it forward! Use this extra note to thank someone who has inspired you to be a better investor!”

Image

How cool is that?  I would of never expected to get anything from them but it was cool to get a handwritten note mentioning my Facebook interaction signed by the person who I was connecting with at Vanguard. 

Vanguard my hat goes off to you for making me a better marketer. Keep on doing your thing.. I will always be a customer and a fan.

Thank you for doing social right! #Vanguarding

@MJASSAL

@Famous_Daves knows how to get you to come back

I always wanted to go to Famous Daves and I finally got my chance.  The food was amazing but I have to say the service and marketing of the place is even better.  Cool things I noted from a marketing perspective from Famous Daves:

– You walk inside and you are transported to the South with the log cabin decor

– Waitress (her name was Mallory) asks if you are here for the first time (makes it special for us)

– Waitress gives my wife and I a free bottle of the sauce that I liked the most

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– We get a card for a free appetizer for the next time we come back

Restaurants need to do 2 simple things:

1 – Provide great food that is memorable (Ribs!!)

2 – Provide great service that is memorable (A well trained staff)

The rest of the marketing that you do is icing on the cake that will make me come back sooner rather than later.  Famous Daves does all of these things, no wonder the restaurant was packed on  a Tuesday night.  Going back this week!

Manpreet

@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

My humble advice to @Microsoft

caveman_invent_nag_437175

 

 

Microsoft recently came out with a new OS and tablet (surface) and the world was like “Umm.. ok, thats cool.”  The problem is Microsoft has taken the brand equity in our minds as an old software company for enterprises to utilize.  The cool factor does not apply to Microsoft at all and in my humble opinion the only way to fix it:

INVENT SOMETHING!

You have to stop copying what Apple is doing and make your own devices/solutions that will revolutionize the way people live their lives.  Just like what Microsoft did with Windows 95 and bought the power of user friendly computing to every household. As a marketer when I see the surface tablet ads, it does not leave an impression with me.  I forget the whole ad in seconds and move on to look at my iphone.  When I played around with it I asked myself what does this do that I already do not do with my ipad?  Answer: Nothing.

I am not an expert on technology (at least not yet) but in marketing (also positioning) you have to build a product that no one else has done before (a revolutionizing product) and take the first position category in someones mind. We know Microsoft has money, now all they have to do is get trendspotters, futurists and top minded technologists in a room to give is the next best thing!

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal