Marketing from the Navel is an inside out formula. It requires that you first decide what you will do that is worth talking about. Each phase gives you the opportunity to do something truly unique.
- Cause: Customers buy products but evangelists buy causes. They buy into something. What is your reason for being, beyond just making money? What is your higher, holier calling?
- Position: In a commodity world, you have to be unique and compelling. What are you doing that nobody else is? What makes you truly different than your competition? (If you say customer service, you have missed the boat)
- Culture: As Stephen Covey said, “Treat your employees exactly as you would your best customer because they’ll treat your customers that way – not when you are there, but when you are not there.” Employee evangelists breed customer evangelists. What are you doing to create evangelists out of your employees? How does that translate to the culture you create among your customer base?
- Product: It sounds simple, but so many companies miss the fact that some of the biggest buzz comes from simply producing something great. Consider Apple, Sony, JetBlue, Under Armour, and hundreds of others that build something great and then get it into people’s hands. Produce something great and there will be built-in buzz.
- Message: There is nothing as powerful as a simple, repeatable message. Strip out the technology, the jargon, your own image of yourself, and everything that is expected value. Create a message not a jingle. Create a one-line “silver bullet” that tells your prospects how you can make their lives better.
- Experience: The “customer experience” is an oft overused cliche. It is not about selling products and services in a nicer way, it is about moving upstream from the sale of the product to providing a unique experience, much the way that Starbucks changed the industry from selling coffee to providing an intellectually stimulating environment in which to meet and create. Always remember the 3 C’s of a superb experience: customization, consistency, and constant improvement. The “wow” is in the details.
- Measurements: How do you know you are doing well if you don’t know what doing well means? What needle are you trying to move? Do not look at the past (sales, profits, etc.) and hope it changes. Identify the metrics that are predictive of your future, whether they are subscriptions, referrals, search rankings, or repeat purchases and measure, measure, measure. Always inspect what you expect.