Mastering the dark art of marketing can take a lifetime. We thought we’d save you years of Jedi training, procrastinating and hair pulling, by showing you how the pros do it.
To unearth their secrets, we’ve dug deep into the darkest corners of the web to find the best advice we can from the smartest guys anywhere. Grab a pen… because you’re going to want to write this down.
Let’s start with Simon Sinek and you can’t start with Simon Sinek without starting with why!
For anyone who has just come out of a coma. Simon Sinek is a top flight marketing consultant and the best-selling author of books like:
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.
If you have a spare ten minutes and even if you don’t, you should take the time to watch his inspiring TED talk about the concept. It’s a few years old now, but every word is as relevant today as it was then.
It’s impossible to break it down, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. If there was one key take away from Sinek’s book and talk, it would be.
“People don’t buy what you do. They buy WHY you do it!”
In the book and during the talk, Sinek delivers a number of examples of his theory and it may take a few goes to grasp, but his science is rooted in biology. This is where his message differs from other marketing strategies.
In short, what he is saying is that we are naturally drawn to individuals and organisations which inspire us. If you take anything away from the book or the talk, it’s this simple message: Aim to inspire and the rest will fall into place.
Take a look at the video here: https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA
A Brand that Starts with Why – Apple
A great example of this and one Simon uses regularly is Apple. The way Apple markets itself is totally different from almost every other Tech company on the plant and as such we are equally happy to buy phones, laptops and TV products from them.
Simon Sinek is a hard act to follow, but if anyone can fill those shoes it’s Gary Vaynerchuk.
There are few entrepreneurs more inspirational than Gary Vaynerchuk. He started as a kid with a lemonade stand and now his name is linked to more DOTCOM success stories than almost anyone else.
From Uber to Snapchat and Facebook to Tumblr, Gary has had fingers in them all. As you’d expect from such a successful serial entrepreneur, the Internet is not short of his advice.
Choosing just one take away from his troves of wisdom is a feat in itself, but if you twisted our arm, we’d have to choose this one.
Gary Vaynerchuk : Spin your Story
In his book: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary talks at length about his love for Twitter, a platform of which he was an early adopter. He actually goes on to cite Twitter as the reason he has a career.
One of the best pieces of advice about twitter this journalist has ever read comes from one of Vaynerchuk’s anecdotes. He suggests we treat Twitter like a dinner party and to visualise the 140 character limit as small talk.
Vaynerchuk points out that on twitter to stand out it’s not enough to just share the news, after all that’s what everyone else is doing. Gary’s suggestion is that we remix that news, by adding our own spin.
Skilfully turning the news in a different direction or looking at it from another angle is a great way to make it more engaging. By doing this we create a more memorable story and that’s the one people are going to take home.
A Brand that’s Amazing at Twitter: Innocent Drinks / @Innocent
To be fair Innocent are a company so far ahead in their marketing, we could have used them as an example in all three of our tips, but their Twitter feed is something else.
They rarely tweet about fruit drinks instead sharing and spinning news and pics from around the world. Follow them for a day and you’ll be hooked.
Andy Maslen may not be a household name, but you probably know his work. As a writer, he’s worked for The New York Times, The BBC and The Economist to name but a few.
And he is also the CEO of the highly successful Copywriting Academy. His is a unique take on marketing and his advice is often refreshing and occasionally controversial. Our favourite tip comes from an article he wrote on Copy-writing for the Sunfish academy.
Andy Maslen – Break the Rules
If you spend any length of time on Google looking for advice on marketing and/or copy writing, you are likely to come across three distinct rules.
You’ll find a lot of advice like this scattered all over the internet. But as Alan Maslen points out, when you break these rules you put your head above the parapet.
By adding metaphors, alliteration and other literary story telling techniques to your text, you engage your audience in a more thorough fashion. After all as Alan says, the best writers like Stephen King and JK Rowling are also the best salespeople: they sell insane number books.
A Brand that Break the Rules: Marriot
You will have noticed a change in the way hotels market themselves. This disruption is likely to be the result of competition from the likes of Airbnb. But rather than wave the white flag, hotel chains have come out fighting.
It’s such a dramatic change that you’ll see emotive storytelling in many of the leading brands’ marketing campaigns And Marriott is the one that started it all. The firm’s belief in the strategy was so strong that it actually set up its own studio to create novel travel and lifestyle based content.