Looking for marketing secrets and shortcuts? Seth Godin has bad news for you: there are none.
In his Vocus webinar No Secrets, No Shortcuts, Seth showed us how the era of mass media – where marketers could simply advertise, reap the rewards and repeat – is done.
We’re now in the Connection Revolution, where spending $1 million on Facebook ads doesn’t bring in $2 million next week.
To succeed in this day and age, the only true asset marketers can build is a connection between two or more people.
Here are six of Seth’s tips for how to do this and succeed.
1. Tell a story
In the Mad Men era, marketing used to be advertising, but that’s not the case anymore. To succeed, you must tell a story that people want to hear. These stories connect with people on an emotional level and are true.
Note: Brands that attempt to tell a false story will get caught.
2. Practice permission marketing
According to Seth, permission marketing is more than having someone opt into your email newsletter.
To understand if you truly have permission, ask yourself if your subscribers and followers would miss you if you stopped posting. If the answer to that question is no, you are a spammer, Seth says.
3. Focus on the niche
Don’t focus on the masses. This violates Seth’s principle of permission marketing. As he says, “you can’t have permission from 300 million people.”
Instead, cater to a small group of people who care about a topic immensely. Start a regular newsletter that really interests a small group of buyers, and they will sign up eagerly. “They don’t want email,” Seth says. “They want me-mail.”
4. Be extraordinary
Seth recalled taking a road trip with his kids, who were making a racket in the back seat until they saw a cow – whereupon they stopped for about five seconds. This inspired Seth’s book Purple Cow. Had the cow been purple, he reasons, the kids would have stayed quiet longer and even Seth would have pulled over and taken pictures with the unusual creature.
Creating something exciting is something any business can do. If you think you have a boring product, make something else, Seth says.
“Marketers have to start by making a product that makes it likely that people will want to find you,” he says.
5. Connect customers to each other
Brands can create value by having their fans and customers connect to each other. For example, people can run 26.2 miles near their homes. However, thousands travel to take part in the New York City Marathon together.
Enabling customers to connect with one another and connect with your business creates an exchange of ideas that is extremely valuable.
6. Give away your ideas
“When your ideas are widespread and your ideas are trusted, you don’t have trouble making a living,” Seth says.
Seth recommends that businesses give away their ideas. It builds trust and sends customers back to you. Giving away ideas as one way marketers can “over-delight” customers.
Image: miletbaker (Creative Commons)