It’s my most embarrassing memory, and yet my greatest marketing moment.
As a young marketing assistant, I learned more about marketing from that Superbowl bet than I did from 6 years of college and all my internships combined.
My shameful mission for losing the bet, was playing whac-a-mole, half-naked and sweaty in the middle of a crowded arcade.
Just as my team’s odds didn’t fit my ill-founded confidence, neither did the hot pink tube top and buttocks-exposing jean shorts fit my nacho-cheese bloated belly.
As I stood there in the middle of a growing crowd of chuckling spectators, I could feel the blood rushing beneath my beard — not out of embarrassment — I didn’t have time for that.
It was the excruciating cardio these moles were putting me through.
I needed to set a new whac-a-mole high score or I was screwed — pole-dancing strip tease in my trashy high heels sort of screwed.
That was the second half of the mission, should I fail the first.
So I whacked away with everything I had, eyes peeled open, wide like modafinil insomnia.
There was no way I’d beat the 39 ticket record, and everyone knew it.
But I was prepared.
My pushup bra was loaded with tickets.
All it took was a little diversion (throwing pocketfuls of arcade coins into the air, which created a feeding frenzy amongst the rabid arcade natives) and I was able to expose my artificial breasts unnoticed.
When the dust settled, my buddies counted the tickets, and to their dismay, I had beaten the record, with a grand total of 47 tickets.
And that’s how I avoided my crossdressing strip tease like a brilliant marketing boss.
More importantly, I learned these marketing lessons:
Don’t think outside the box — the box should have never been there in the first place. If I was stuck in box-thinking, I would have had to strip tease in an arcade full of minors, until I was arrested for indecent exposure and branded as a sex predator, which is embarrassing to say the least. If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin. The business world is a bit different from the perpetual drunkenness of university life, but I’ll tell you this much — it’s worse. White collar crimes involve a lot more than skeezing your way out of paying up on a lost bet. I’m not saying you should cheat in the business world — but if you want to win this cutthroat game you HAVE to break the rules. Perception is reality. Meaning this. If a customer perceives your business as shady, you can be Mother freaking Teresa and it won’t matter a bit. Actions follow belief; perception is reality. Don’t fight the odds. My team was overwhelmingly disfavored, and the odds were against me. There’s nothing wrong with rooting for the underdog as long as you don’t make a stupid investment like I did. Luckily I was only dumb enough to sacrifice my dignity. Marketing predictions should be applied. I think my biggest marketing pet peeve is reading a billion and one marketing predications that ALL SAY THE SAME THING, and knowing that small business owners are reading the same crap, over and over again, without knowing how to apply those predictions to their business.
Let’s get to the 2015 marketing predictions that regurgitated every other week or so — and APPLY them to our businesses.
Marketing Prediction #1: Content Will Get Even MORE Important?
I’ll be honest with you, I’m sick of hearing that content is king. Yes, it’s true, but it’s getting too cliche for my brain to handle.
So let’s repackage this sucker.
Content is the sexy queen of the damned thing.
Content is the immortal goddess of the marketing world, and her glory stretches to the four corners of the earth.
But here’s the most important thing that nobody’s talking about.
How do you develop content that sets your business apart as the grade-a marketing queen of your niche?
With the Triple E Formula.
It may sound like a euphoric street drug, but the only euphoric thing about it is your boost in bottom line profit.
Educating your customers is turning out to be the best method.
Entertaining them comes in second.
The last E is Engagement.
Here’s how Panera nailed all three.
On the entertainment side of things, they like to motivate people on Pinterest with inspiring quotes like this one:
Littering their Pinterest boards with inspirational images is smart, and not just because people like to be inspired.
It creates a positive connection, and the more people see Panera’s inspiring images, the more they’ll associate them with everything that is good and happy in the world.
Of course they engage with their readers through Pinterest too, as well as other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
And here’s where they really shine.
When it comes to educating, what should restaurants help their customers with?
Pinterest shares some of the highest quality recipes on the internet.
Let’s talk about turning your dull brand into a shiny one.
Starting with American Family Insurance.
Their Facebook campaign is brilliant because it revolves around their desired image as a family focused business.
They educate their customers with family-oriented tips and advice.
And even though insurance may very well be the most overwhelmingly boring topic imaginable, AFI manages to sneak in some entertainment, without coming across as reaching:
When it comes to engagement, their Twitter marketing team really owns the field.
Marketing Prediction #2: Mobile Marketing Will Own the World Like a Digital Bubonic Plague
There’s really no denying this one.
We love our phones and tablets like our children. We probably spend more time with our mobile devices though.
How can you master mobile marketing?
Sometimes it’s as simple as making sure your website is just as awesome on a mobile device as it is on a laptop.
But most significant is your focus on entertainment.
Because entertainment (especially YouTube, fun apps like Angry Birds, and entertaining websites) gets more interaction from mobile viewers than any other category.
As for the other areas, check this study out:
SOURCES “Seven Shades of Mobile” study, conducted by InsightsNow for AOL and BBDO, 2012. In the first phase, 24 users completed a seven-day diary and in-depth interviews.
In the second, 1,051 U.S. users ages 13 to 54 were surveyed, data on 3,010 mobile interactions were collected, and the mobile activities of two-thirds of those users were tracked for 30 days.
Blendtech pulled off the holy grail of mobile marketing in their “Will it Blend?” campaign.
The beauty of this collection of marketing ingenuity lies in the curious and inherently destructive nature of people.
Why is it the holy grail of marketing?
Because it effectively uses all three E’s in the Triple E Formula, and proves how powerful Blendtech blenders are.
So while I’m watching iPads, golf balls, and Twilight propaganda shred and get thoroughly obliterated , I’m also experiencing the superior nature of the product.
In fact, it only took one video to convince me that this is the most powerful blender known to man. That’s probably not entirely true.
But it certainly is to me.
Because perception is reality, and no other blender brand has infiltrated my perception like Blendtech.
Marketing Prediction #3: This Video Sex is on Fire
Video marketing is poised to set the marketing world ablaze with an unquenchable fire that won’t die until holographic technology takes over.
Videos make people happy, sad, and every other emotion you can think of really.
The more they watch, the more they want.
Dove wielded the power of video in their “Evolution of Beauty” campaign, using time-lapse photography to show the modern model’s makeover, from start to finish.
It’s amazing what a little makeup and photoshop can do. Of course, we’d all like to see the beauty industry collapse, or at least they could stop distorting our perception of beauty.
Does Dove’s reputation get an upgrade in your head after watching this video?
It did in mine.
How about more of an entertainment angle?
Hell Pizza, a chain of pizza shops based out of New Zealand, created an interactive Zombie Apocalypse story, which is actually a brilliant “choose your own adventure” series of videos.
This type of marketing is what puts small businesses on the map. Think about it. How many New Zealand restaurants are you familiar with? It’s just one for me.
That’s how it’s done.
To really get these marketing concepts rooted into your brain, go back through the campaign examples and see which of these marketing principles fit into each campaign.Don’t think outside the box — the box should have never been there in the first place. If you aint cheatin you aint tryin. A customer’s perception is their reality. Don’t fight the odds — put them to work for you. Market predictions should always be applied.
How will your business get rid of the box it’s been living in?
How will you break the rules, mold your customer’s perception, and make the numbers work in your favor?
Ultimately, how will you apply 2015’s marketing predictions to your business?