And so says the title of Seth Godin’s Blog new book which just arrived this morning delivered by the brave Mary who said to me as she lay the parcel gently down that “this is either a ton of bricks or a ton of gold… ”
When I think of voice in a marketing context I think about the first steps we take in communication. Those steps are tentative and often unsure. It’s where we first tell our story to others outside of our immediate sphere. It’s the true test of whether our “pitch” just sounded great inside our own heads or whether it actually resonates with the people we want it to reach.
That’s the scary bit – how will they (everyone else) react to what we say. Will they laugh? Will they yawn? Or will this pitch be, just another contributor to the noise they hear every day?
When I was growing up “to blab” was to “talk too much”. And I’m sure you can guess I might have been accused of that once or twice myself. Since those early days of “Kissing the Blarney Stone” I’ve been able to turn that tendency into an asset as a marketer and added “listening” to the mix aswell.
I had an interesting conversation with a client recently about ‘naming the resistance’. We discussed how ‘naming the resistance’ to something can result in most challenges in a business (and indeed life) falling away. And once the resistance is named action often follows suit.
In my experience, one of the greatest points of resistance in marketing terms for any businesses is it’s knowledge of their customer and more specifically that customer’s journey with them.
Brand is often perceived as an intangible that can’t be measured. It seems ambiguous and something that is often indescribable. Yet it is real and has a financially proven impact on the bottom line.
As a practical marketing tool, competitor analysis is one of the most useful and most grounded. It identifies both the similarities and differences between players in the marketplace and most importantly it identifies clear gaps that have yet to be tapped and leveraged.
So Let’s start with clearly identifying what Branding is and what it isn’t.
We all know the history of the term that originates with cattle branding as a way of clearly identifying ownership of herds. Time has moved on since then and so has branding and what it has come to represent. And with that of course comes misrepresentations and misconceptions too.
All great marketing is about great preparation. It’s the ability to ask the right questions, make the right deductions from the answers and carve a path that will move your business to where you want it to go. It’s about positioning your business effectively in the marketplace.
Once you’ve done the work then your marketing will work. It really is that simple.
The best business advice or insights often come from unusual sources. One of mine came from my son when he was just three years old.
We were in the car driving to his grandparents and he asked me this question and it has stayed with me ever since: Mammy: What are you for?
In any business strategy there’s always the dilemma of the ‘low hanging fruit’. ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ is a term coined to express ‘picking’ off business that is there at hand so that you have the cash flow to move on to the next stage of your business. Reference the Urban Dictionary for a definition.