Original Marketing

What is marketing?

Seth Godin, the marketing thought-leader says it best when he says that marketing is about noticing. When your brand, your product or your service is noticed, that’s marketing. It isn’t advertising which gets push upon you. Instead marketing is that story your sister tells you about a wonderful new restaurant where there are only 4 tables and you feel like you are eating in someone’s home and the experience is remarkably special. 

Lately I have been thinking about how Seth’s wisdom fits with my own experiences in my past life with our brownie business or during my years marketing snack foods for GoodMark and ConAgra Foods. I like to ask the question if what I was doing was different from how others would do things so that my work (marketing) would be shared. 

Ask yourself this question...

How are you going to do something that hasn’t been done before within your business category?

I don’t care if you are a painter, a plumber or a publisher- how can you find a way to bring something original to the category of what it means to be a painter, plumber or publisher? What is that something special that is your interpretation and expression of how you work differently?

Connection Economy
Today we live in a connection economy that makes building a tribe important. Tribe is the wonderful word that Seth uses to express this idea of a small but well-connected community bound together with a common purpose and point of intersection. In a world of billions of people, you need just a small number of tribe members. People who love your designs, your donuts or your dim sum are part of this group. And if you are truly doing something unique, your tribe members will want to share it with their friends who share a common world view. 

Snack Size and Shareable
You want your message to be snack sized so it is easy to share.  Find a way to get to the essence of what you do and help make it easy and convenient for others to help you expand your sphere of influence. Do it slowly, one at a time and provide them with the means to spread the word. 

Core phrase
Your job is to find a way to express this uniqueness in a core phrase or sentence. This isn’t a tag line per se, it is really shorthand for what you are all about. The tricky part is that this core phrase should NOT be what you do, but why you do it. (see my post on Simon Sinek’s wonderful book Start With Why).

If you are a house painter we know that you make our livings space look new and fresh by putting a fresh coat of paint on our walls.

Creating a Fresh Start 

But can you find a heart-centered message that connects with your tribe who loves your work? Talk to your current clients and ask them what they really love about their home after you finished painting it for them.  They may give you that nugget that helps you understand that you aren’t painting their walls, but are refreshing their lives. Perhaps you aren’t really in the painting business but instead are in the refreshment business helping revitalize a living space so it feels like a fresh start.

Learning about Memory Keepers with my grandfather George Ginsberg
Catch a Memory
Many years ago I asked my grandfather about his photography business. This was in the late 1960’s. I remember him telling me that when he would go to someone’s house to photograph their family in the 1930’s and 1940’s, he wouldn’t promote himself as a photographer but as a memory catcher.

What makes your work original?

Note: The best interview I have ever heard Seth give is from On Being by Krista Tippett. Listen to this podcast to learn more. He speaks about the art of noticing. 

And if you enjoy my posts, would you share them with one friend who is interesting in unraveling the mysteries of marketing. Thank you. 

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