By Lindsay Kwaselow
1. Rules? What Rules? The first rule of fearless marketing is that sometimes, you have to break the rules. Standing out does not happen by staying on top of current trends. The second you cross the threshold between keeping up with the latest trends and inspiring future trends is the second you become a relentless marketer. I’m not saying you have to be a psychic genius to be on top, but without risks your brand is in grave danger of blending in.
It’s natural to fear risks. However allowing fear to overtake your vision can be absolutely devastating to your marketing goals. Instead, use fear as a motivator to prove you can overcome it.
In his Inbound 2015 Keynote, famous marketing guru and author, Seth Godin says, “Only a fool does something brand new and says it’s going to work for sure. And only a failure refuses to do something that isn’t guaranteed to work. When we do our best work, we have to walk into it saying it might work, and it might not work.”
Watch the video below to hear more from Seth Godin about taking calculated, appropriate business risks.
2. Fear one thing, and one thing only: mediocrity. What happens when you hear the word “average?” Go ahead, say it out loud…“aaavvvverrrrage.” If you’re going to be a fearless marketer, your immediate reaction to this word should involve tears, screaming, begging for your mommy and hiding in a closet in fetal position. Better yet, just go ahead and completely remove this word from your vocabulary. Don’t even THINK about being average. Ordinary is not an option for fearless marketers. From this day forward you must commit to being different. Accept it, and tell your inner ten-year-old self that it’s okay to be unlike anyone else. Your friends will still talk to you, and better yet, your brand will flourish.
In Seth Godin’s Mindset of a Winner he says, “Mediocrity is for losers. In our Google-fueled world we have a choice of a million things for any topic. Who picks average? Who picks mediocre? Nobody.”
3. The experience trumps everything. Seriously, everything. Even price. If you can’t offer a smooth, memorable, and exceptional customer experience you might as well not have a brand at all. Apple gets away with charging more for their products because their products are not just devices in which to communicate, they are a lifestyle – an impenetrable story wrapped up in the humble image of a piece of fruit.
The millennial market of buyers is arguably the fastest-growing market in history. Spanning the ages of 18-34, these individuals rate the purchase experience as more important than the price of a product. According to a recent DrivingSales study, this mentality is applied to the car buying process. “While finding the right vehicle at the right price is important to everyone, our study shows that most younger consumers want a positive customer experience at the dealership and are willing to pay a little more to ensure they get it.”
The experience is also the driving force behind marketing’s future. According to a 2016 Marketo study of 499 CMOs from around the globe, “Top marketing channels are those that lend themselves to personalizing the customer experience.” By 2020, it is predicted that the top channels for offering this experience will be:
· Social Media (63%)
· The Internet (53%)
· Mobile Apps (47%)
· The Mobile Web (46%)
4. Fearless will never equate to heartless. The most powerful brands in the world represent genuine human values and emotions. Never dismiss the importance of including your heart and soul into your work. Also, remember to have a little fun! If you lack passion in what you’re selling, that secret inner voice will scream through the lines and graphics of every marketing piece you publish. The vast majority of the consuming public can sense insincerity, whether they are conscious of it or not. If you don’t believe in what you do, neither will your audience. That’s why values are so important in this business.
“What you can do as a salesperson, is you communicate emotion. But you can’t communicate emotion and trust to someone if they’re not listening,” says Godin. “The only people that listen to you are the people that are presold on you because someone told them about what you do and how you do it.”
Fearless marketers are not just technically and intellectually skilled. They’re also emotionally intelligent. Hubspot defines emotional intelligence as “The ability to understand the needs and feelings of oneself and other people, manage one’s feelings, and respond to others in appropriate ways.” This all comes down to likeability. If people like you, they will listen to you. If people trust you and believe your brand represents the same values they believe in, they will buy from you. To be fearless is to understand human emotion and to realize it’s impossible to be successful in marketing without this fundamental ability to empathize with others.