Last week I broke out of my comfort zone and went to a networking event.
Normally I hate these things. Most of time I find people aren’t really concerned about you and simply want your business card so they can add you to their email list.
But this event I met a couple of interesting people from different industries. One of which was a local realtor named Scott Garman. He and his brother run Garman Group.
Scott made the jump from Vancouver to Victoria to start his real estate career. He had been away from Victoria for close to 15 years. He couldn’t rely on his old network of people since he lost contact with many of them.
What was he to do? He turned to Twitter.
His start in real estate happened around the same time Twitter started. He found the community of Victoria users to be very close at the time. They were lots of meet ups offline which helped really grow connections.
Since Twitter was new, there weren’t many other realtors on Twitter. Jumping into something new with little competition is a great way to grow.
But it was the most overlooked benefit of Twitter that helped him more than anything. One of the few marketers I look up to Gary Vaynerchuck also credits this benefit as the main reason his family wine store’s sales grew to record numbers.
I’m a notorious eavesdropper. Especially when the conversations involve business.
Well the advanced search function is a way you can eavesdrop on peoples Twitter conversations.
Unlike Facebook you can zone on what people are saying about your industry, products, services and competitors. This is a great way to get involved in the conversations. Doing so allows you to become the local go to source in your industry since most people are asking questions on Twitter. You’ll also be able to spot out potential business opportunities as well.
Here’s what you need to do:
Develop a list of keywords related to your industry, product, service or competitors
Type one of your keywords into the “all of these words” form
Add the city you’re located into the “near this place” form at the bottom
From there you will get a list of Tweets over the course of the last few days from people who have mentioned your keyword within your targeted area.
Scott mentioned his list of keywords included:
house for sale
I may have made a couple of those up but you see where I’m headed.
Gary Vaynerchuk being in the wine industry obviously had a larger pool of keywords. He could choose all the brands and grapes he wanted. He could also simply search the term wine and join in on people’s conversations. And that’s why his business and personal brand grew.
Do you see how beneficial this could be for your business? Instead of spending a hours every month Tweeting and finding content to Tweet, you can do this and see a better return on your time.
Old Spice for years had always been, well, old. I never used any Old Spice products growing up. Neither did my friends. Probably because we weren’t their target market.
They also were pretty boring. Same sailing ad after another.
That changed in 2010 with the famous “Your man can smell like me” campaign. In case you’ve been living in cave, here’s one of the commercials.
Even though the ads were geared towards women, I decided to try some Old Spice body wash last year. When I turned the bottle around, I burst out laughing in the shower! Here’s why…
If you can’t read the picture taken from my crappy iPhone 3, here’s what it says.
“Cleans hair, cleans body then wails on it’s pecks. Does it’s job and drives away in a sports car.”
Talk about speaking directly to their target market in a fun and entertaining way!
What’s also interesting is they treated the body wash it self like a human. Doing human things like wailing on pecks and driving a sports car. Awesome stuff Old Spice and a nice touch.
Axe has dominated the hygiene world amongst males ages 15-34 for some time now. They speak to their customers like a person which creates a connection.
Because of this they’ve had a stranglehold on male hygiene products. That was until Old Spice decided they needed to humanize the brand.
Since then Old Spice has done a bang up job by giving the brand a personality. All because they communicated like a real person.
Another great example of brand personality is Newcastle’s Facebook timeline image
I really like the stand they’ve taken.
One of the things written in the Meaningful Marketing Manifesto is that you should support good causes because you want to and not because you want more followers. They’ve stated that in it a bold way.
Both examples are bold and in your face. Shocking for most because brands were things and not people before.
They’ve made me laugh and created an emotional connection. All because they communicated to me like a real human being.
Don’t be boring and Forgettable
How often does this happen to you.
You click on a website or read an advertisement and after 10 seconds of reading, you’re bored and on to the next thing?
I’m sure it’s happened often.
Why does this happen? They don’t have a brand voice. They’re blurting out their message like a robot speaking monotone. I suppose robots can only speak monotone but you get the point.
Those brands don’t understand that people are craving a connection. It’s like being able to talk to your favorite actor, actress, athlete or someone you admire. If they’re boring face to face, they might be your favorite anymore.
You want to see their human side. It’s the same with brands in this socially connected digital world.
Many brands are creating meaningful connections. Simply by having a voice and a personality.
Giving Birth To Your Brand
It’s really simple.
Start talking like a human being in every marketing and advertising piece the public sees!
Let your hair down. Stop standing up straight and being all proper. Being polite will not generate an emotional connection with people.
It’s like this. The last thing you want to do is fit in. By giving your brand a personality and a voice, you’ll be a breath of fresh air and stand out from the competition.
What do you think?
Is there anything holding you back from giving birth to your brand?
If you’re already doing so, tell me about it!
I’ll be discussing more about brand personality in future posts. If you’ve liked this post, subscribe to my updates so you can receive them straight to your inbox.
On the TV. On the radio. In a newspaper or magazine. Even in the bathroom.
Yep, we can’t even escape advertisements when we go to the bathroom.
This cleaver company decided people want to be advertised to when they’re going to the bathroom!
Resorting to this reeks of desperation. In fact I can’t think of a worse way to advertise. People are wiping their butts with your ads. Talk about hitting an all time low.
Would you really want your brand to be aligned with toilet paper and crap?
I can imagine the thought process went something like this:
“We’ve tried everything else to get people’s attention but nothing’s working. Eureka! Let’s create some advertisements that are going to be smeared in crap and flushed down the toilet!”
To convert people in new customers and regular customers into evangelists, you have to hit it where it matters most. The heart…not the ass.
Read on to discover what it takes to emotionally connect with people.
There are two things I want to discuss in my next two blog posts.
This one you’re about to read will discuss how to determine what matters to people. From there you will be able to create a deeper connection with people through your future advertising and marketing.
The following one will discuss the importance of maintaining a consistent brand image.
Creating emotional connections
Both topics have been on my mind for over a month now. It hit me while I was watching a squash tournament. I’ve recently become addicted to the game of squash. For those that don’t know it’s a game that it played in a boxed off court very much like racquetball.
My closet friend Adam wanted me to play more and I have been. I don’t have enough time to play golf anymore so squash is an awesome alternative.
One of the things I enjoy about squash is the social nature of the sport. It’s like anything I suppose. But squash players love to talk after the game. More on these conversations in a bit and why every conversation you engage in is important.
Since advertisements are everywhere it’s not surprising they’re plastered on squash courts. Personally I don’t pay much attention to them since I’m busy trying to beat my opponent.
They also don’t connect with me. Being a marketer and consumer I try to think about how marketing can be done better.
In this case I wanted to see how the squash advertisements could generate more meaning. Adam – who got me into squash – also owns Victoria Transmission Auto Care.
Last year he was toying with the idea of sponsoring a court. Thankfully he decided to resist the urge to interrupt. He also felt that sponsoring a court didn’t align with his brand image.
I agreed. They’ve been marketing the company beautifully the last two years. Organizing things like their popular ladies nights, focusing on being an eco friendly shop and educating young drivers on car care and safety.
It didn’t make sense to slap his company’s logo on the squash courts. There just wasn’t a connection there.
We are in an age where interruptive advertising and marketing is becoming more ignored. You can even say hated. The brands who focus on people’s hearts and aim to out care their competition will do exceedingly well in the future.
Adam feels such strong bond to the game of squash and the people who play at our club. He simply wants to give back to them. If his business can benefit from this, even better.
So it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered a way he could do that.
Every Conversation Is Important
We were watching a big squash tournament at another squash club in town. The players from our club remarked that they didn’t like the courts. They were dimly lit and the walls were very dirty.
Our clubs courts’ lack in areas as well. The lights are not the same color and often burnt out. Our walls get marked up from the ball and they have the odd chip of cement missing. From time to time dust balls are seen on the court.
With that said every player from our club we talked to hated the courts. This is something that comes up often in my conversations with fellow squash players. The condition of the courts matter deeply.
It’s the same in golf. I worked in the golf industry at a very nice private club. Everyone I knew who played at the public, municipal and executive courses in the city wanted badly to play the course I worked at.
They fell the same way as my squash friends. Being able to play on nice squash courts and a nice golf course means an awful lot to people. It touches them where it matters most. The heart.
You can see where I am going here. Adam wants to grow his business and make an emotional connection with our fellow squash players.
The best way for him to do that is to sponsor the court. But instead of plastering his company logo on the wall, he should focus on making the court he sponsors, the nicest and cleanest in the city.
It’s really no different than the adopt a highway programs many states in the US have. Local businesses adopt a mile or more of a highway. It’s their responsibility to ensure that stretch is kept clean. Since it’s their name on it, they want to do a great job.
Stealing this idea he would make sure the walls are always clean, the lights are bright and always replaced. Too make a major impact, the floors could be waxed or completely re-done.
Before you start to think that this is far too costly. Think about the lifetime cost of a customer. In his industry, it’s a lot. It would only take a few people to become lifetime customers for this to pay off.
All these things would no doubt make a definite impact. Any player that steps foot on the court would take notice of Adam and his business.
Principles of Meaningful Marketing
This is of course theoretical idea. But it touches on two key principles of meaningful marketing.
1) It creates a deep connection
2) It improves people’s lives regardless of the product or service it sells
Deep down I want to inspire you to do more than just slap your logo on something, call it day and hope people patronize your business.
That’s what everyone else is doing. Be different and stand out from the competition by creating more meaning with your marketing!
All you have to do is listen to your current clients and see what matters most to them. In any conversation you will find those things that your clients care deeply about.
In this example all I did was pay close attention to the conversations I was having. Looking for something that other squash players felt deeply about. Remember earlier when I said every conversation you engage in is important? The conversations I have with other squash players is evidence of this.
This example is what out caring your competition is all about. Once people know that you care about them, they’ll start to care about your business.
What do you think?
Are there any ways you can create a deeper connection with people and have your business grow at the same time?
It’s frustrating not getting any comments, likes or shares.
You post an insightful link and tumbleweeds blow by. You let everyone know about a new product or sale you’re having and you hear nothing but crickets.
No matter what you post there’s very little in the way of comments or engagement. You might think this will change when you get more likes. Well I’ve already talked about how the need for social proof and more likes can really hurt your updates from getting seen.