Seth Godin is an international best-selling author and one of THE foremost experts on marketing. In this video from Entrepreneur Magazine he talks about how important curiosity is for EVERY business and every customer. He talks about how for a long time we trained our culture to stop being curious and then explains how things have changed and why it matters.
In a recent article in Success Magazine marketing legend Seth Godin answers some of the most important marketing questions most organizations have right now. There is no doubt that things in business, especially in marketing, are changing quickly. Almost too quickly for us to keep up with. That’s why it’s great to get insight from people who have their fingers on the pulse of change. Here are some of my favorite questions and answers from the article.
Q: Where would you invest your marketing budget if you were starting a new business now, and why?
Unless you are already the market leader, there’s no question that 80 percent of your marketing budget should go into making a significantly better product or offering a better service than you do now. I know that you think you already make a great product. I’m guessing you already make a very good product. It’s probable your service is just fine, or better than just fine.
Just fine or even very good isn’t going to work, and no reasonable amount of marketing spending is going to fix that. What would you do if you had to deliver something more than fine? Something remarkable? Something that your customers couldn’t resist talking about? Go ahead and spend the money it takes to do that. Once you do, you’ll discover you need far fewer marketing dollars.
Examples: Zappos, Harley-Davidson, Porsche, The Shake Shack and The New Yorker.
Q: How many social media sites should you use, and what are the most important sites you should be using?
Hey, who let this guy in here? This is a dangerous question, because it escalates the medium (social) above the purpose (communicating with permission). No one asks how many hours you ought to spend answering the phone or what the receptionist’s desk should be made out of. Use the tools that help you achieve your purpose. Too often we get confused about who we’re trying to please and end up pleasing no one.
Seth Godin is the author of 14 best-selling books that have been translated into 36 languages. He’s the founder of Squidoo.com, one of the largest and fastest-growing websites in the United States. Godin was vice president of direct marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.
“Branding” is one of those magic marketing buzzwords that everyone is talking about but no one ever explains very well. A brand is essentially an identity and personality. Whatever people think of when they hear a brand’s name is a part of that brand. So how to you get a brand? Most of the brands people are talking about are large businesses that have already proven to be successful, but what about the new brands? What about all the new business or smaller companies trying to make a name for themselves in the massive universe of the brands? Start with a good foundation and the rest will follow. Here are 5 rules to help get you on your way to brand stardom.
1. Follow Your Passion – If you are about to start a business or are running a business that you’re not passionate about, GET OUT NOW! Figure out what you love and what you’re passionate about and start moving in that direction. It will make everything else a lot easier.
2. Baby Steps – Start with something you can handle, don’t try to jump ahead 10 years. Business takes time and so does branding. Start with one product and do everything right instead of trying to put out too much and missing several important marks.
3. Trust Your Gut – Starting off you might not have the resources to invest in a lot of research so you need to rely on your gut. That doesn’t mean to act impulsively, but to instead use your logic and experience to figure things out.
4. Team Up To Keep Growing – You may hit a point where you don’t have the resources to keep growing as you would like. When that happens, find someone who does have those resources and work out a deal.
5. Don’t Stop Paying Attention…EVER – As your company grows and your responsibilities change, the one thing you should never lose sight of is your brand. You created it and you know exactly what it should be so don’t let anyone else take over for you.
A big part of great marketing is hitting the right price point. You can’t shoot too low or people think your product is crap. You can’t shoot too high or else your target market won’t be able to afford it. You really have to take the time to find the sweet spot right in between where your customer feels like they are getting quality and value for what they are paying and yet aren’t paying too much for too little. Here are a few good rules to keep in mind to make your customers say ” The Price Is Right!”
1. Listen To Your Customers – This doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune on marketing research, just ask. Find out where they value your product in comparison to the competitors. If you are set up for it, this could be as easy as asking a question to your social media followers.
2. Understand Your Competition – If your customer wasn’t buying your product, what would they be spending their money on? What separates you from them? How can you make sure you always have that positive differentiation?
3. Be Brutal – When evaluating yourself you need to be 100% honest. You should be your harshest critic at all times and you should also listen to your own criticisms.
Your brand is the most important asset your company has. It’s what people think of when they hear your name, what people feel when they see your product and what they say when they are talking about your company. Your brand is also one of the morst permanent aspects of your company. Don’t get me wrong, your brand can survive change, but it shouldn’t change often. Here are a few good reasons why you should put more time into your brand upfront instead of continually changing it down the road.
1. Brand loyalty is hard to earn and harder to earn again and again – Once you do your job of giving the customer something they want that they can depend on and a relationship they value you will earn their loyalty. Once you have that, it’s easier for them to come back and do business with you again. If you rebrand, you have to prove yourself again by starting from scratch and under higher scrutiny.
2. Re-branding loses the attention of the general public – Unless you have the resources to buy enough advertising to let the world and all of your customers know about the rebrand, you are going to lose the ones wh don’t have time to pay attention. They may be used to seeing a certain color box on the shelf or going to a certain website, and when it’s not there they might just move on to the next best thing.
3. The “almost-customers” will forget about you – There is this magic marketing tool you may have heard of called “Word Of Mouth”. This means that your current customers are happy enough to tell other people about your company, your product and/or your service. If you do something drastic like a name change all of that praise will have fallen on deaf ears. They may have heard their friends talk about “Acme Company” thousands of times but never “Acme Supreme”. If it’s not what there friends told them to buy, they have no reason to buy it.