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Archive for November, 2013

Did It Work?

That’s the only meaningful measure of success, and it’s the question we ought to ask ourselves about every piece of video marketing, from The Most Interesting Man in the World, to Burger King’s creepy “Wake Up With The King” campaign. Did it work? Did it get you (the audience) to change your behavior or attitude? Or was it merely amusing?

Creative types get caught in this trap often. We catch ourselves admiring the aesthetics of a poster, or the sound of a particularly fine turn of phrase. We look at a video and say, “that was really well done.” Sort of like admiring the handwriting on a sign for a lemonade stand. If it doesn’t make us buy a cup, who cares?

Not saying proper execution is useless. It’s not. If you look back through our blog, you’ll see all sorts of ways proper execution can help you solve problems. But you should always start with a problem in mind. Do you want to sell more lemonade? Be seen as a pillar in the lemonade community? Improve public perception of lemonade stands in general?

Talk this over with whomever is doing your marketing. Figure out what problem you’re trying to solve. Then measure and tweak your campaigns, using the appropriate strategies to solve it.

Humor, creativity, and impressive technique are all fine things, but they shouldn’t be done for their own sake. In measuring your effectiveness, the question is not “was it clever?” The question is “did it work?”

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Sell With Your Face

This is something Dave Munson (Saddleback Leather) understands.  Dave doesn’t use product models, celebrities, or expensive, exotic locales to sell his bags.  Instead, he uses his dog, his family, and his own adventures and sense of humor.  The result is a product with personality. Even if you don’t buy a bag, the videos are apt to stick in your memory.

This is a great practice for any marketing video, but it’s doubly important if you’re selling a service. Graphs, pictures of your building, and stock art of handshakes are fine as window dressing, but sooner or later people want to know who they’re dealing with. If you’re selling childcare, financial advice, life coaching, or any other service, sooner is probably better.

So sell with your face.  And your personality. And your passions. When people buy your service, they’re buying you. Better to be open and honest about exactly what they’re getting. It might alienate some, but those it draws in will be fans from the start. Then all you have to do is continue being yourself. Which is a real relief, believe us.

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When It’s Okay To Brag (A Little)

We’ve outlined a few marketing “rules” over the course of this blog, including the Sacred Directive to never talk about oneself (or to at least avoid talking about oneself whenever possible). Marketing, we’ve said, is all about the client. And that’s true. In the main, clients don’t want to hear your story. They want to hear about them. They want you to tell them how you can make their lives better.

But all those blatantly self-promotional materials can serve a purpose. The trick is figuring out the timing. There’s a time and a place to brag (a little), but it’s later, after you’ve secured client interest and (ideally) sealed the deal.

It helps to think about client engagements as romantic relationships. As below:

web marketing video production San Francisco

You might think that’s a weird place to do your bragging, but trust us, it’s necessary. Especially if you’re selling a service – something invisible and intangible. You need to reassure clients that they’ve made a good decision in hiring you. Do this by highlighting awards and accomplishments, fresh testimonials and successful new clients.

You can do it with a quarterly newsletter or a quarterly video – something short and sweet, maybe 90 seconds on “See What’s Happening at Doe & Associates.” Just remember not to brag too much or too often. And, as with initial phase marketing, tie everything back to the client (“we’re expanding to better serve you, etc. etc.”).

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You Just Can’t Reason With People

Whether you’re trying to seduce or sell — or even win a debate — the use of reason should be a last resort. This seems counterintuitive, since we typically think of ourselves as rational creatures. We assume we make buying decisions based on good information. And we assume that the kind of selling that works on us, should work on everyone else.

But science says we overestimate our own use of reason, especially when it comes to money (and especially when dealing with intangibles like service or experience).

Think back to the last big purchasing decision you made. Or (better yet), think back to the last major purchasing decision a friend made. When discussing it later, were the justifications based on hard data? Did you (or your friend) say, “Doe, Blah, & Associates has an 82% success rate in cases similar to mine, and their performance is rated above industry average, according to third party studies,” or did you say, “I just trust them. They seem to know what they’re doing. I like the guy working on my case. He has a degree from Harvard.”

The language of justification is subjective. It’s the language of “like,” “trust,” and “nice” — based on feelings and intuitions rather than information.

How do clients justify choosing (or not choosing) you? Remember: professional qualifications matter, but only at a basic level. Better to be personable and competent than an aloof expert.

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