I was recently asked to participate in a panel discussing marketing on a small start-up budget, something I am all too familiar with. After the discussion, someone came up to me and mentioned that he wished the talk included more generic marketing tips, tips such as, “everyone do X on twitter and that’s how you should market as a start-up.” I explained that while that might be nice and simple to implement, it might not be what his start-up needs to seduce his customers. What if his customers are not even on Twitter?
I confess, I am an avid Uber user. Actually I was one of Dubai’s top 100 Uber users to be exact. I do realize there are other companies that offer the exact same service. But ultimately, Uber understands their customers better (and they also have more capital). I have even done marketing for them, without ever receiving a penny from them. I have to ask myself why, because I usually hate brands and do not do this sort of thing.
The answer is that I really like the company and I believe they offer an outstanding service. They are onto something. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their controversy, they are one of the best marketers in this day in age. So, if you want to figure out how to do your marketing, study some of the most effective marketeers, and don’t replicate them exactly, but replicate how they seduce their customers.
David Packard of Hewlett-Packard once observed that “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people.” So what’s to be done if you are a trainer, an entrepreneur, a corporate professional or just someone looking to market yourself? Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Don’t be boring or predictable. Instead be creative and do the unexpected.
2. Build a great product so it can market itself.
3. Build relationships – with your market.
4. Reach your customers. Ask them about your product and get feedback.
5. Reach your customer where they are (e.g., social media) in their “dialect.”
Be bold, and do not worry if they are talking badly about you. At least they are talking about you, right?