Reboot Your Marketing

I devour marketing books like some people consume cheesecake.

Curious by nature, I know that authors can often explain things to me with a clear insight that helps me with my work.  Of course you have to separate the wheat from the chaff, but that’s part of being a discerning student.

Mitch Joel is a well-known author, blogger and podcaster who wrote the book Six Pixels of Separation. He is also a partner at Twist Image, a digital media agency. His latest book, CTL ALT DELETE has been on my to read list for a while.  Lately his SPOS (Six Pixels of Separation) podcast is always tops on my iTunes list for my weekend walks along with Mark W. Schafer's Marketing Companion. After another long plane ride to and from California, I got to enjoy and learn from his ideas. (Thanks American for the 4 hour delay in DFW). 

Take a bite of the apple
There is a lot of wisdom in this book. But I was particularly struck by his clear explanation about what Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson (head of Apple retail who went to JC Penny’s) had in mind with the Apple store. Mitch explained it in a fresh way that I hadn't considered previously.   

Apple -Building trust through direct relationships with consumers 
These marketing geniuses realized about 10 years ago that direct relationships would trump indirect efforts. In the age of the Internet, we had the ability to communicate directly with our audience without mediation through publications or paid advertising. But Jobs & Johnson realized that if they established stores where you could interact with the brand on a direct basis, in an uncluttered environment, that the chance to fall in love with Apple could occur.

Yes, the store could sell directly to the consumer but more importantly, they could engage and develop trust in a way that can never happen through Best Buy or any third party retailer. Apple employees speak to you and help you. They don’t sell you. They engage with you and earn your trust. This is the true power of the Apple brand. 

My personal experience for years had been to buy Dell brands either at a retailer or through their web site. They too tried online to build this trust. The difference is that my experience with Dell was always transactional. I’m getting this much RAM, this much hard drive, this speed, this size screen in exchange for this price.  When I bought my wife her Macbook Air, we bought the possibility of the book she will write, the dream of truly enjoying her photos of Hawaii and the elegance of design that reflect her own aesthetic.

Dell has always been selling computers. Apple, through direct relationships was earning trust so they could sell me dreams. 

CTL ALT DELETE is packed with career advice and wisdom about a digital first view point. Mitch writes about brands having a digital first attitude and approach to marketing. He has crisp examples illustrating his ideas and the book is filled with great career advice. 

But I keep rereading the Apple section on going direct to your end user/customer/consumer to find a way of creating a deep, direct connection with your audience. It really resonated with me and my own world view of marketing. I'd urge you to pick up or download a copy and reboot your marketing and your life. 

Lesson learned. Directly. 

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