Hi! My name is...want to ride me?
So, not how most of us would introduce ourselves to a person who just caught our eye.
Yet in business, it happens so frequently, that chances are, you can recall a recent experience when someone did this very thing to get you to buy what they were selling.
This is our most succinct analogy to explain why 80% of marketing budgets leak more than they deliver. What follows is the context, reason and insights that got us here, and what we do to make our marketing more seductive.
Businesses don’t necessarily know how to engage a stranger
(and why would we? It's a mastered skill, it's not innate.)
Businesses don't always know how to engage a stranger in a way that facilitates trust, relevance, and interest. Yet, at the same time, they absolutely believe that their product, service, or solution will be perfect for said stranger. So, naturally, in the absence of effective strategies and tools, they rush in for the sale too soon, counting on the value of their product to compensate for their hump-your-leg-approach to communicating the why and how.
I reckon you agree that we all deserve to be wined, dined and seduced into the marketing funnels that are right for us. Not humped into them.
There is an approach to marketing that can do just this this, we call it #simplypowerful.
THE SECRET IS NOT SO SECRET.
We design marketing to leverage your genius, not your FOMO.
Our overall approach to #SimplyPowerful content is anchored in a marketing methodology that was created from hundreds of thousands of hours studying human behaviour, failing forward (a lot) with marketing campaigns, winning loads, and ultimately persistently solving this exact problem every day, all day for b2b firms.
Our marketing approach (Inner Genius) contrasts with the traditional marketing approach (FOMO).
Traditional marketing approach & the reptilian brain
In a nutshell: You already know this, but it may be another lens to view FOMO infused marketing. Fear, Shame, Guilt based marketing activates our amygdala, the seat of fear in our brains. It invokes feelings of fear, shame and guilt, triggering stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol that impair judgement. When judgement is impaired, (impulse) marketing can be used to compel us to buy a widget we normally wouldn’t buy otherwise, believing that somehow said widget will relieve us of our fear, shame, guilt.
The TABTF marketing approach & your Inner Genius.
In a nutshell: You already know this too. Perhaps this is just another lens to view Inner Genius infused marketing. This is the higher brain, inner genius approach to marketing that activates our prefrontal cortex and pituitary gland. This is marketing that acknowledges that you already know what we know, we’re simply reminding you or reframing a perspective for you.
It speaks to your intuition and instinct, creating powerful sensory feelings that, when congruent, cause you to take action. The result sees people responding from a place of completeness, with the intention to step up, expand, grow into, and participate in said (marketing) invitation.
THE APPROACH IS A LOT OF COMMON SENSE AND RESPECT.
Our 3-2-1 approach to #SimplyPowerful content comprises:
3 Agreements that set the foundation and the intention for the project at hand.
2 Avenues that are both powerful and flexible.
1 Methodology that we have been iterating and refining for more than 20 years.
We deserve to be seduced by ideas and solutions, as opposed to having our legs humped in order that we buy into them.
3 Agreements that shape our intention and approach to how we plan, build, design, write, and produce content:
1. Communicate to the inner genius within our audience, not play on their FOMO.
2. Mastery level service, products, solutions. The value we are selling aspires to be in the top 2% of the industry (if it isn’t already). The depth of quality, craftsmanship and worth is evident across the sales cycle.
3. Fair Exchange is firmly intact. What is being sold for €100k has a value of €100k or more, getting the best price the market can bear while ensuring the experience the customer has at the point-of-sale stands up to the money being invested.
2 Avenues to creating content that moves a market (there are more, but we found they are derivatives of these two).
First avenue // Your solution is framed as a mirror image of your market’s pain. When we become completely clear on the market we are here to serve, we get to uncover patterns, trends and shared pain points. People view their world through a set of filters to only show them what they value most. What people value most is resolving their pain (professionally and personally). They carry out online searches for it. They talk to their peers about what they did to solve it. They seek education so they can make better-informed decisions about it.
Content that specifically presents your solution as a mirror image to your market's pain creates the perception that you are hyper-relevant, worth knowing more about, and makes Google ranking and reach far easier. This is sticky content that creates a desire in the audience to know more.
2. Second avenue // Your solution is the result of collective genius. Once you’ve identified the market you want to engage, approach them directly with an invitation to be interviewed as part of an industry report that you’re facilitating. The subject matter is hyper relevant to them, the x3 or x5 questions are ones they would love to answer anyway, and you get to invite 10, 20, or 50 people (your high value leads/prospects) to answer the same set of questions, organising the answers as the core of your content.
Content that specifically presents your solution in the fabric of a collective discussion that heroes the very people in your audience you want to engage in a transaction. This approach facilitates ongoing leverage throughout the following 12 months.
1 (Content) Methodology infused with Jungian Psychology, Richard Dawkins Selfish Gene constructs, group psychology, sports psychology, CBT, research and practical application of this exact Methodology for more than 20 years
The TABTF (content) methodology is summed up as P.O.S.E. for Media Mentions.
Paid (media) is ad spend that goes behind a post, banner or blog.
Organic (media) is anything that lives on your brand-owned media channels.
Shared (media) comes from your network. They share the content to their network.
Earned (media) is the holy grail in media. This is where mainstream media (online and offline) picks up your content and references and links it in their own media.
The order that we want any firm to engage in our methodology is directly proportionate to where they are in their marketing lifecycle. In our world, we get a lot of businesses at ground zero, because TABTF works with smaller companies who don't necessarily have in-house marketing resources.
If you're trying to move from ground zero, we begin with Organic media, followed by Shared. Shared content also serves as a feedback loop, because if people are sharing your content, that indicates its good content, whereas if people are ignoring your content, then that piece of Organic content you're sending out is not viable.
Once we've gone from ground zero to one (by publishing at least 3 pieces of Organic content), we can look back at how our content has performed and determine what works, and what content is worth putting €500 per month behind, which is now Paid content.
Earned content, or the holy grail of content, occurs when another publisher picks up your content and writes about it on their own platform. Difficult to achieve, this type of media get conversations about you started in a human way that doesn't look like anyone is selling to you.
OUR METHODOLOGY IN ACTION
Just a fancy way of saying, here is the more tactical expression of our #simplypowerful content approach
We plan, build, design, write, polish and quality-check a variety of content in up to six different categories.
Six Categories of Content:
At TABTF, we have defined six categories of marketing content:
1. List: Stand-alone information or facts collected and presented together in one place
2. Analysis: Examining and interpreting information or data
3. Prediction: Content that describes what to expect in the future
4. How-to: Step-by-step or methodology
5. Social Proof: Learning from case studies, stories or experiences of others
6. Edutainment: This content ranges from cat videos to memes, and is anything we engage with to “switch off.” TABTF doesn’t typically produce this category of content for marketing.
How we typically apply P.O.S.E. for b2b firms
There are no absolutes, however, some best practices we can share would include:
1. Pick a market. Know that market to the degree you can be in service to that market. Listen well. Shape your solutions so that they exist as a mirror reflection of the market’s pain points.
2. Commit to 12-weeks. Consider you have 12-weeks of consistent action to generate momentum. You will want to see results, so input is required. We have a whole host of insights on going from inertia to momentum. We reckon it’s a 16-week job in most cases. If you’re curious to know more about that… go here.
3. Initiate, iterate, innovate your content. Initiate platforms, formats, headlines, iterate every 4-weeks for 3 consistent months. Innovate everything based on results observed in week 12.
Our process for creating and leveraging content is specifically designed to:
1. Respect your budget: the content we create is designed to continually support your brand and pay dividends across quarters. It can also be repurposed and leveraged over time; it is not a one-off tactic that will be paid for and thrown away in 8 weeks if it doesn’t work.
2. Leverage laws of human behaviour for ever-increasing return.
3 Be agile! From the starting blocks, no one can predict what will emerge. As we create content, and become present to what is emerging in real-time inside the campaign, we can pivot instantly to optimise and maximise the reach and value of this piece.
Let’s take, for example, Avenue 2: Creating content that frames your solution as the result of collective genius. We usually present this in the form of an industry Media Report. It is generic enough to become its own thing, but specific enough for us to communicate its purpose, process and payoff.
It is created from the thought leadership of the very audience you are wanting to engage in a transaction. We present them as industry heroes while weaving them into the very fabric of your marketing sales funnel.
Paid Ads versus a Media Report
We are not black/white people. We don’t buy into absolutes.
One approach DOES NOT fit all.
We believe in paid media having a time and place.
Here's a quick summary of why we don't run for Paid out the starting blocks.
1. We are scrappy - and that means creative in how we invest budgets. We don't know which content will be jackpot content until we run a few pieces organically and observe data behind that organic content over 8 weeks. When we see one outperforming the others, we 're happy to put money behind it. Of course, there are other ways to determine quality content worth backing that could show up inside week one. It's not black and white you see.
3. Digital advertising has become so corrupt that billions of advertiser's dollars are stolen through ad fraud every year. Online advertising also subjects your budget to bot pollution, widespread ad blocking, and conflicts of interest from companies that are both sellers and buyers of ad space.
When we are all confident we have jackpot content, we back it. If we are not confident, we'd rather run organic media to get a sense of which of the 3 pieces of content are worth backing.
In the last 3 years, 92% of our jackpot marketing campaigns were a success in the absence of digital marketing.
What's different about a Media Report?
A Media Report warms your market as you create the piece. It begins with you inviting people to collaborate with you to solve their industry’s biggest problems. You create a valuable piece of collective genius, with your target market made into the heroes with their brilliant contributions.
By doing this, you introduce them into a sales funnel that is tied to your hip, while also positioning your own brand as a thought leader. A Media Report delivers on brand awareness and credibility, and is an approach that can be monitored and tweaked over time.
AWESOME AND CHALLENGING // Make no mistake, this is not smooth sailing across the board.
Our approach to #SimplyPowerful marketing content has worked for us time and again in a b2b context. We understand that b2c works differently, and that one size does not fit all.
One thing we’ve learned, is that as much as the process of creating this type of content yields amazing outcomes and insights, it is equally balanced with bumps and warts.
When you are playing the long game, you’re better able to take those bumps in your stride. When you’re only wanting easy, fast, quick - you’re likely to be disappointed.
Nature is a wondrous teacher.
She demonstrates 1000x a day that there is always both sunshine and rain. The moment we decide, we only want sunny days, never rain, only hot, never cold, only support, never challenge, only comfort, never discomfort, is when we find ourselves juvenile, and perfectly placed to learn a life lesson - and if you're anything like me... that life lesson usually involves a base ball bat up side the head until you get the life lesson: rain and discomfort are the path to greatness.
Marketing can feel awesome and deliver great results. We average 10% to 40% across our campaigns. The direct marketing industry standard for awesome is 2%.
The TABTF approach to creating #SimplyPowerful marketing content is drawn from psychology and human behaviour, and speaks to the part of us that makes us want to step up, not crawl into a hole because we are fearful, guilty or ashamed. Or freaked out that if we don't buy right now, then we've missed out forever.
You are welcome to use any of the ideas on this page to inspire your next marketing push. If you like the sound of it and keen to know more about how it applies to your exact situation - a Free Marketing Workshop may be an ideal next steps