Tag Archives: publicity

No Elvis impersonators

no elvis impersonators
I have only one creative rule: no Elvis impersonators.

I was presented with a creative idea using Elvis impersonators once.  It wasn’t pretty.

Some Elvis impersonators pay genuine homage to The King, but in general most of them are parasites, profiting from his brand or at best, making fun of a great artist during a period in which he was truly troubled (in fact I view Elvis impersonators in much the same way as politicians in that they probably get into it for the right reasons but eventually lose sight of why, though now I’m really off the track).

Other than that one rule, all ideas are game on as far as I’m concerned because creative daring is essential for breaking free from the clutter to get your story told and heard.
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Asset leverage

Very financial sounding for a marketing blog, so what’s “asset leverage” got to do with marketing?

Everything.  Because great marketing (strategic, campaign-based or tactical) is just that.  Asset leverage.

The best campaigns I’ve ever seen and been involved in (particularly the fantastically successful guerilla-style ones that get amazing cut-through) are the result of maximum leverage of assets.

Every business, venture, company or brand has assets.  Existing brands have massive assets (brands that falter, in my opinion, do so partly because of a failure to leverage them, but that’s for another post) though new brands do too.

I’m not talking about the product either.  While products can, technically be assets, your most valuable assets are the things competitors can’t own.  Things like the owners profile or background, the brand experiences & systems you’ve developed, your unique value proposition, location, market position and a whole host of other things.

The other great thing about the term “asset leverage” is that it’s a good pitch to get  buy-in, not only from the more financially and ROI-focused team-members or C-levels in corporates but from SME’s as well, who are less cashed up (generally speaking) and understand the concept of leveraging financial assets.  It can help to cut-through with potential investors too.

This concept of leveraging assets for greater returns in financial investments is as valid for getting great returns from your marketing plan.  A strategy that knows and successfully leverages marketing assets will amplify returns and win in the brand and bottom-line stakes.

The secret to success isn’t in what you know

You know your business better than anyone.

You know why you’re in business to start with.

You know your brand, why it’s named what it is, why you chose the visual identity you did and what you want it to stand for.

You know your product or service, it’s value, what it can do and how it fulfils a customer need or want.

You know your customers, the market and what turns them on to your value proposition for satisfaction of their needs or wants.

You know what you want from your business in return for the investment you make now, next week, next month, next year or next decade.

Essentially, as far as what your business needs to succeed, it’s a strong argument that nobody knows more than you, even if you might need a little expertise to help you to realise your goals.

Except maybe for your competitors.

That’s because the secret isn’t in what needs to be done.  What needs to be done is on show and the framework is the same for everybody.  The secret is in how you do what you need to do to make your brand & business remarkable, memorable and a mandatory stop for your searching customers.

So what are you waiting for?  Get busy and get on with telling your story, right now and for as long as it takes to carve out your unique position.

Happy New Year, decade, and all the best for achieving your goals before your competitors do.

“Made ya look” marketing

That’s a term I use to describe marketing done by (mostly) small businesses using footpath characters.

It’s when you’re driving along and, almost out of the blue, you see a gorilla, or a Santa, or a horse, or just a couple of guys wearing sandwich boards, waving their hands, maybe holding a sign up and almost pleading for your attention.

Today I was making good time on the road when, out of the blue, there’s Big Bird waving like a mad thing and holding up a sign for the lighting shop he was standing right out front of.  Wasn’t a great Big Bird, might not even have been Big Bird, but that’s what I saw.  Gave them a honk (it was something like 30 degrees and I felt sorry for him or her in that suit), got an acknowledging wave and then continued on.

Are they relevent to the business?  Mostly not, except maybe for Santa around Christmas time.  Do you see the sign and the business name?  Mostly, unless they’ve used the wrong gauge permanent marker.  Can you help looking though?  Definitely not and that’s my point.

See if Big Bird hadn’t been standing out front of that light shop, I wouldn’t have bat an eyelid.

Big Bird got my attention though and next time I’m thinking about buying lights, I’ll be remembering that spot, because Big Bird made me look.

If you don’t have a “made ya look” in your marketing arsenal, you’d better go find it or create it.  Or else you risk losing out  in the memorability stakes.

Inspiration is right in front or behind you

Inspiration is one of those things that’s always looked right on through or around.

Sometimes it’s our rational left brains brains that get in the way, dismissing it as folly almost as quickly as it’s discovered.  Sometimes it’s the simple distraction of other tasks that need doing.  In marketing communications & strategy, that often translates as trying the same thing over and over, because it’s familiar or had good outcomes in the past.  In business it can be doing things easy that cost less and have outcomes equally as boring or the same as your competitors or worse still, taking expedient shortcuts in creating memorable customer experiences.

Inspiration can create the most unique differences in a brand, a marketing strategy or tactic, or the way a new venture is created and yet, for all there is in the world it’s all too often missed.  It needn’t be so hard; all that’s needed is an open and inquiring mind.

I read a fantastic example of drawing inspiration from the most unlikely place just today in an article on the new Toyota sports car concept unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo auto show.  Evidently, the chief engineer has admitted that the colour for the car was inspired by a Japanese monkey’s bum.

Now who knows what lead a chief engineer to look on in amazement at a monkey’s butt and think that it’d be a good colour for a car, even to provide the pop for a concept car.  Or the pitch he made when asked by the top brass before sign-off “so, what inspired that colour?”

None of that’s the point though.

The point is that, no matter how well-hidden it is or how far removed from what you thought you were looking for, inspiration can come from anywhere if you keep an open mind.