I get asked my thoughts on marketing pretty regularly…
And, one of the popular questions is about “how we can make a huge impact now?”
The problem with the question is that it thinks that marketing is some kind of fast acting solution to the challenge of why the organization or product isn’t making an impact to begin with.
Here is the secret to making a long term marketing impact, that’s build remarkable into your organization.
What’s lost in a lot of the debate over the Apple vs. Samsung battle for cell phone supremacy is what makes either manufacturer’s product remarkable vs. good or serviceable or, even, very good.
In the battle of cell phones….the reason people anxiously await Apple’s products and the reason Samsung releases phones that are very successful, popular, and probably have capabilities that meet or exceed the iPhones are pretty straightforward.
Here is a list…but not an exhaustive one.
1. Experience: I’ve bought many cell phones over the years, maybe not Samsung, but many…and I have owned iPhones since about 2008 or so. But the user experience is something that whether it is right or wrong is sold as a solid reason for buying an iPhone. By experience I mean all of the following: packaging, marketing, operating system, apps, hardware, UI. Samsung may have comparable or better capabilities in all of them, but the combined experience is less than the sum of its parts.
2. Cache: People want what they think everyone wants. Apple has done a great job of making them an unashamed luxury brand. For now, Samsung or anyone else won’t have the same heft in luxury that Apple does…and I say that fully knowing that I have the full Kool-Aid man syndrome.
3. Integration Into Our Lives: Like I have said, I have been using the iPhone for a long time now and don’t plan on changing anytime soon. But part of that is probably because I feel like the iPhone and the iPhone’s apps are fully integrated into my life and make my life easier. And, this probably goes back to the first section, experience, even if another phone has the capacity to do these same great things…the experience of using an iPhone is more intuitive at this point.
These are only 3, but what do they tell you about any business you are dealing with?
1. Focus on what your customer is looking for…your customer might love you for some reason you don’t fully realize until after they have purchased. I think that is why the iPhone keeps winning because Apple gets that it isn’t just a phone, but an experience and a lifestyle.
2. You aren’t selling products, you are selling solutions…if you buy a Samsung, you might be on the cutting edge of technology and have the latest gadgets and tools, but you may be adapting at a speed that is faster than the average consumer is ready for and/or you may have the ability to solve problems that come up with new technologies. This goes back to the original iPods…people could easily buy MP3 players, but chose the iPod because the solution was much simpler…even if they needed to pay more.
3. Marketing still has an effect…marketing and selling and advertising are almost used synonymously at this point, but they have very distinct advantages and uses. In regard to the iPhone, the marketing and anticipation that Apple does an excellent job of building for their phones and products still has a tremendous impact on their sales.
I think we can all learn and use these ideas in our own work….
What do you think?
Its really easy to proclaim something when you aren’t the one doing the job…
And, as leaders in your organization, you should try to get into the field to learn what is going on with your employees as much as possible. I’m pretty sure you will be surprised by what you see and the experience will give you new insights into the relationship your company has with its customers.
Myths make people emotional…they tell a story in a way that digs down at the lizard brain (H/T to Seth Godin), and when you are dealing with products like a political candidate, a Mac, or a college athletic team…the myth that we tell ourselves is almost as important as the truth.
As marketers, it is pretty much essential that we look for the best way to build a myth that has a positive side to it, or we are going to fail in our roles as storytellers and sales people.
You can need and use a coach when things are going well.
That’s the big misperception about coaching, that you only need a coach or a consultant when things have gone off the rail. But you really should be checking in with a coach or mentor in an ongoing timeframe.