One day you wake up and you find yourself as Head of Marketing. It doesn’t matter if it’s marketing for a large company, a small business or an Etsy online store. You have the responsibility to get the company’s name out into the world. How do you do it?
A traditional answer is that you would start by marketing what your company does. What services do you offer? What products do you make? What special features do your products or services have? There would be posts on social media about these products/services, updates about new releases, articles and reviews. And it works, at least for a while. But how can you keep new and current customers interested in you over time?
My answer is unconventional marketing: talk about what you don’t do. Talk about why you are, not what you are. But why does this work?
- You tell the world about your values and higher purpose. A business, of any size, is not just about selling products or services. Many business have values, they have a reason to be in the world. Many businesses wish to bring change to the world and to do something good. Is that not worth sharing with the world?
- You talk about the company’s living heart. What is a company made of? Services? Products? Or people? Yes, there are people behind everything the company delivers to the world. People with passions, with interests, with wishes. Talk about these people, about why they love their job and the company, about why they want to share the company’s values. Talk about the living part of the company.
- You share your passion with your customers, not your product. It’s all very well to hear of a great new product. But how many times before it gets annoying? Stories about what gets the CEO out of bed each morning, about what the company wants to achieve and why, about why a product was made as it is, are far more interesting and intriguing, and help to give a human dimension to the company which customers can identify with.
- You constantly spark curiosity. A software company recently decided to celebrate new employees by buying a wheel of local cheese for each. Another time, they relocated to a mountain refuge to work in a different environment. Once they went on a crazy bike ride up the mountains. People like to hear of these things, they like to know what goes on behind the company’s public image. Talk about it!
- Your customers endorse your values and want to take part. When you share more than just service or product information, or how much your company has grown, people really start to take an interest. If your values include working towards a goal that will benefit the community, the environment, or the world, people will be more likely to identify with you, to want to take part and contribute to your mission. You gain loyal customers who love you for why you work and not for what you do.