The rule of 7

For marketers, it’s argued that this rule still applies:

Your prospect has to SEE or HEAR your marketing message a MINIMUM of seven times before they take action.

That’s one of the reasons why customers are bombarded with the same messages or the same ad over and over.

In the online world, we can use social media to schedule posts to achieve the rule of 7. Technically speaking, there are 2 methods to do it:

  1. Remarketing: A lot of companies use this method. An email is sent with offers. Customers click on one of the offers and may delete the email. Then, those offers follow them to the website they visit or to Facebook feed, etc. The only annoying thing for me using this approach is the same offers still follow you even though you already bought the offer.
  2. Drip marketing: Drip Marketing campaigns allow you to send a set of messages to your potential customers. Drip Marketing campaigns enable you to consistently send your message out to your audience on auto-pilot. You can target emails and social media to deliver your messages.

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Nike has done it again

You got to love this. Nike just launched a new slogan/campaign to promote social distancing. They are very good at coming up with inspiring slogans that trigger action. Within an hour, several of the big-name athletes the company sponsors had posted the ad on their respective social media channels.

This time, the slogan says “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance,” the ad reads. “Play inside, play for the world.” 

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Reach VS Impression

I don’t normally look at the reach and the impression data. I always jump to the conversions. As it turns out, reach and impression are a good indication of how good content is (I view ads as an annoying thing that marketers do but I buy lots of ads!).

So, what is the difference between reach and impression?

The content that you look at counts as reach. In simple terms, reach refers to the total number of users who choose to see a brand’s content. Reach focuses on getting people to click on your content.

On the other hand, impressions refers to the total number of times when users were exposed to your content on social media. Impressions do not measure whether or not people actually clicked on a link. And they do not measure whether or not a viewer engaged with a post.

They are both important in the following ways:

  • Impression gives you a basis to justify if users engage with your content or not. If your content shows up a zillion times but the reach is very low, you have to rethink about your content.
  • But, if you have very high reach with very small conversions, your content may be good but you probably offer it to the wrong target groups.

At the end of the day, you don’t need a large number of everything. You better have a small number from the right groups of people.

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Social media marketing is not free

There are a few myths about social media marketing. One of them is social media is free. It’s kind of correct that you can post anything on social at no cost. However, it’s very highly likely that your post doesn’t go anywhere or generate anything.

The major challenge about social media is you will have to invest substantial amount of resources (people and financial) to get good results. And by good results, it doesn’t always mean sales. People use social media mainly for human connections. You can hit them with ads all the times and doesn’t get much in return. The best strategy is to set up the right expectation. Social media should be used to create awareness about your product. Users are not ready to buy when they are on social. What we should do is when they are ready, your product and brand are on the top of their mind.

That means you will need lots and lots of good (well good is not enough anymore) content. And, trust me, social media is like a black hole that sucks up massive content.

You need to be unique and have a clear goal of what you want to achieve to be successful in this crowded world.

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The science of physical arousal

I found this book that I recommend every marketer to read. It’s called “Contagious – How to build word of mouth in the digital age”. You can use everything in this book to improve your work.

One of the aspects the book touch on is how physical arousal make things get shared. There are 2 types of arousals, namely high arousal and low arousal.

High arousal states, such as anger, anxiety, awe and excitement, make us want to take actions. Take awe for example, when we inspired by awe we can’t help wanting to tell people what happened.

Low arousal on the contrary stifle action. Take sadness, sad people tend to power down. They want to sit still close to the window watching rain.

The key point here is high arousals lead people to share because they kindle the fire, activate people, and drive them to take action. Low arousal emotions (e.g. sadness or contentment) decrease sharing.

This is vey helpful information. I used to think creating a video that make people sad, it would go viral. It flopped. Below is a good summary of the different types of arousal emotions.

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Why inbound marketing is so hard

To make it simple, let assume that there are only 2 marketing approaches, namely inbound and outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing is easy, cheap, and it is not really marketing. With this approach, you generate or buy leads (not demand), drop those leads to a call centre, call them, and sell something to them. It’s a volume game. The more you call, the more you sell. It’s pretty annoying to customers actually. it’s for lazy marketers or. for the marketers whose hands are tied.

Inbound marketing is much harder. Why? Unlike the wrong perceptions that inbound is just sending something out and people will call you, life is not that simple. If you are the only one that sell a product in the whole world, sending out messages and people call could work. If you sell drugs, inbound marketing wouldn’t too hard.

The reason why inbound marketing is hard is that inbound marketing is about delivering solutions and opportunities that have a positive impact on people and your business (source: Hubspot). It’s about building trust and brand by offering a solution that could make customer’s life better. You have to introduce yourself, go on dates for some time, before you can ask her to marry you.

Trying to do inbound marketing in a company that applies direct or outbound marketing is ever harder. It’s’ more expensive and you (marketer) are questioned about your ability.

It’s like when someone says social media is free. Best of luck everyone.

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What Apple and Taylor Swift do well

I wrote about Taylor Swift’s smart marketing skill the other day. I also found that Apple or even Nike use a similar strategy in their marketing. They all put a serious focus on their true fans, their influencers.

Taylor flew to surprise one of her super fans on her bridal party. Of course, the content went viral. Apple partners with their fans by allowing them to get their hands on the product before the public. Apple also encourages their fans to use the products in creative ways. All of these went viral.

The era of selling stuff to people has gone. The role of marketers has changed. My role as a marketer has changed. It’s exciting and very challenging. My biggest challenge is how to turn a direct marketing approach to a brand marketing mentality. The direct marketing approach would never yield a successful inbound marketing. Unfortunately, not many people understand.

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Marketing inspiration from Taylor Swift

I have read quite a number of articles about how Taylor Swift planned her new album and music video launches. You have to admit, she is a great marketer. Her success is calculated and hard-working. There are 3 things that we all can learn from her.

  1. Focus on you superfans and surprise & delight them. I watched a show that Taylor was a guest. It’s very clear to me that she looks after her superfans very seriously. She knows about them well on a personal level. She even attended their life’s events.
  2. Make your customers “feel”. We all know about this. Our marketing activities should touch on customer’s emotions. Not all of us can do, sadly.
  3. Deal with critics creatively. Every brand, every company get critics. There are a number of ways to deal with them, ranging from ignoring them to passionately defending youself. What Taylor does is she uses their criticism to make a ton of money and stand firm. You cannot make everyone happy. It’s hard not to feel offended. I thought I was strong but I was emotional from time to time when I got criticised on social. The best I could do was ignoring them and walking away.

Sometimes I wonder, we all know about how to do good marketing, why can’t I do it successfully or even consistently?

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Search and social

Do you know the differences between marketing with search and social? We all have to do both but understanding the differences would help manage your expectation. There is actually one major difference, only one.

I recently started using a Travel ad program from Expedia. I also promoted the same Ad through Facebook ad. The immediate result was different. The Travel ad generated far better results than the Facebook ad. There could be many explanations but the major difference is “customer’s intention”.

In search (i.e. Travel ad), customers have an ‘intention’ to do something. They were looking for a place to holiday. They did the search to fulfil their intentions. In social, customers don’t normally have intention or efforts to take purchasing action. They might like your photos or your offers. But, they are likely to save those offers for later days.

Social is more suitable for building up brands, spreading awareness, or introducing your product. As I said above, we need both. But, knowing the difference would help you manage your budget and your expectation.

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Telling your stories

I went to visit one of our hotels yesterday. It is a hotel that struggles in the past 5 years to compete in a crowded market. I was appointed to look after its market now. Challenging and exciting at the same time.

What surprised me the most is that this hotel has a lot of stories to tell. The problem is we don’t tell those stories to the world. We only told those stories to the team and partners, which is fine. But, in the intensely competitive world, we need to get the stories out there. We need the stories that will make the hotel unique. We need to tell the stories that give reasons for guests to choose us.

That’s my number 1 priority to help this hotel. Our team will update its website to have a section that allows us to share the hotel’s stories. We will then use social the spread those stories. After that we will encourage passionate guests to share stories.

It’s all about telling your stories.

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