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Communication Coach: Take the meaningful marketing risk

August 11, 2020 -  By
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Image: DigtialStorm / iStock

According to a recent Ad Age magazine article, people are now more interested in gardening, exercise and home entertainment because these activities give our lives purpose and meaning.

The study revealed most of the hottest brands benefited from technology. Zoom and Microsoft prospered because home-based technology replaced what remained idle back at the office.

Other big winners were Clorox, home fitness company Peloton, and numerous companies that delivered products, education and entertainment.

What do these companies have in common?

They were ready. However they pulled it off, they were able to capitalize on the shift in consumer needs and wants.

As you know, other companies did not fare so well. Already there are gyms and hospitality companies filing for bankruptcy. As I suggested in my recent Marketing Mojo column in Landscape Management, it’s time to market your business like it’s 2022 because this is not going away soon.

Across the globe, people are waking up to what’s important in their lives, what’s fundamentally meaningful. I believe that people are becoming more aware of how they feel.

For years I’ve presented programs on relationship selling and the customer experience to small business audiences. Much of what I shared were lessons from that laboratory that was my residential landscaping company.

However, years later I read “Never Split The Difference,” by former FBI negotiator Chris Voss. In life or death negotiations, Voss discovered that everybody needs to feel safe and in control.

Whenever there is tension, people will choose what they believe promises safety and security. Research shows there is tension in buying situations, especially when uncertainty is heightened as it is now.

People justify their buying decisions with stories. They want to live a bigger story — a better story — and you can help them with that.

I’m encouraging my clients to take the meaningful marketing risk of showing (not telling) people you understand how they feel by signaling your understanding of what’s important.

Let’s take the robotic mowing trend as one example. I’ve discussed this with other marketers and we believe there are three types of buying motivations in the residential market:

  • Entertainment – Watching how these machines get the work done is an enjoyable activity;
  • Safety and security – Less noise and vital safety features are good for families and pets; and
  • Control – Some people love taking complete control of their daily lifestyle.

Like negotiation, marketing is about discovery. It’s putting a message out there that aims to spark memorable conversations.

That’s the goal of traditional marketing, to be remembered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that marketing now needs to be meaningful. It’s a little risky but any mistakes should be taken in stride.

After all, late last year Peloton had one controversial marketing failure and came out on top anyway.

Take the meaningful marketing risk. It’s worth it.

Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social, founder of Landscape Digital Institute, and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified consultant. He helps green industry owners, marketers and sales teams craft and communicate branded customer experiences that sell. Learn more at www.landscapedigitalinstitute.com

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