Sunday, October 18, 2020

Tapping Into Human Needs


I am excited to announce that I have developed a new inexpensive online course entitled "Tapping into Human Needs." 

This one-hour seminar will help you better understand human needs and motivations. This understanding should inform brand positioning, marketing copy, selling scripts, and unique value propositions. We will cover Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, The Triune Brain, the power of fear, the two scarce resources (time and money), thirty-six powerful human motivators, how to differentiate brands by human need and eleven different market segmentation approaches. This seminar features several well-known brands as examples and six advertising videos associated with three of those brands. I think you will find a few of those ads to be quite timely and relevant. It also includes a few exercises and links to relevant online articles and blog posts. 

At the end of this seminar, you will have a much deeper insight into human motivation and how that relates to marketing and brands.

Click here to learn more about the course.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Marketing Needs Assessment

We have been running a continuous marketing needs assessment survey since April of 2017. Here are the latest findings. 

Organizational role:

  • CEO - 19%
  • CMO - 12%
  • Marketing director - 12%
  • Product manager - 12%
  • Marketing manager - 10%
  • Marketing vice president - 7%
  • Brand manager - 5%
  • Research analyst - 5%
  • Marketing analyst - 3%
  • Media planner - 3%
  • Creative director - 3%
  • Graphic designer - 2%
  • Account executive - 2%
  • Other - 5%
Industry (adds up to more than 100% because people can select more than one):
  • Consumer products - 20%
  • Consulting - 19%
  • Consumer services - 15%
  • Business services - 12%
  • Communications - 10%
  • Education - 9%
  • Financial services - 7%
  • Industrial products - 5%
  • Research - 5%
  • Healthcare - 5%
  • Energy - 3%
  • Automotive - 3%
  • Aviation - 3%
  • Hospitality - 3%
  • Defense - 3%
  • Software - 2%
  • Enterprise solutions - 2%
  • The biggest issue facing people's businesses today is increasing sales/growing the business.
  • The second biggest issue is successfully launching new products.
  • The third biggest issue is dealing with COVID-related challenges.
  • The forth biggest issue is generating more qualified leads.
  • The fifth biggest issue is lack of confidence in the marketing function.
  • The two biggest marketing issues are building brand awareness and successfully differentiating the brand.
  • The top specific issues are (1) finding the most cost effective way to reach customers, (2) developing a strong identity for the brand, (3) knowing how to best use digital, mobile and social media marketing, (4) determining the best way to spend the marketing budget and (5) better understanding customer needs.
We are always looking for additional feedback from marketing practitioners and business executives. To take the survey yourself, please click on this LINK. While the survey is anonymous, if you so choose, you may enter your name and email address for a chance to win a Brand Aid book, two hours of free consulting or a $50 gift card.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Transitioning to e-Commerce

I am conducting a free two-hour workshop on transitioning to e-commerce for artists on Sunday, September 27 from 4 pm until 6 pm. You are invited to attend.

This workshop will teach artists how to develop, host and promote websites for e-commerce including becoming familiar with different web development and hosting services, e-commerce platforms and payment methods. It will also briefly cover content creation, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, lead generation, marketing automation, search engine optimization, online promotion, web store organization, privacy policy generators, terms of use generators, and virtual museums, concerts and other events.

Register HERE now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Comprehensive Brand Positioning Course

This course will provide you with everything you need to position your brand to win. It is based on a proprietary process and set of tools that have been used to successfully position hundreds of brands throughout the world. 

This unparalleled brand positioning process was refined over 30 years and has been used by more than 200 highly successful brands in almost every product and service category.

To unleash your brand's full power, you must create a unique value proposition that is emotionally compelling. This requires a rigorous brand positioning process based on deep customer insight. And it requires an understanding of how brands can connect with customers through shared values and exceptional experiences.

This brand positioning process is part art and part science, using both the left and right sides of your brain. 

The course includes examples from many world-class brands and all the tools, templates and information you will need to position your brand to win.

The course is comprised of a video, seven handouts and links to 28 relevant blog posts. I will instruct you to use the handouts at appropriate points throughout the video. 

While the video is an hour and a quarter in length, the total course length with exercises and blog post readings will require between two and four hours to complete. You can stop and restart the course at any time based on your schedule. 

You can take the course here: Positioning Your Brand to Win

Monday, August 31, 2020

Marketing and Marketing Communication Are Not the Same

Frequently, I encounter organizations whose marketing departments consist solely of marketing communications professionals. Those organizations view marketing solely as marketing communications. The department is tasked with writing marketing copy, providing content to websites, running social media campaigns, creating brochures, crafting event announcements and the like.

But who is developing the brand's unique value proposition? Who is identifying its target markets? Who is determining the product mix? Who is deciding on each product's functions and features? Who is setting prices? Who is creating the distribution strategy? Who is crafting the customer service strategy? Who is responsible for publicity? Who is responsible for event marketing? Who is responsible for marketing research? Who is developing the overall marketing plan?

Often the answer is "the product planners" or "product development" or "sales" or "the business units." If the organization is a not-for-profit organization, the answer often is "the development person or function" or the "membership coordinator." But sometimes the answer is "I don't know," or worse yet, "no one."

If your marketing department consists only of people who write copy and design graphics and nothing else, you don't have a marketing department. You have a marketing communications department. While there is nothing wrong with having a marketing communications function, it does ignore all of the other marketing levers. It is akin to having a tool box that only consists of a pair of pliers. While the pliers come in handy at times, they are not helpful if a screwdriver or hammer are needed instead.

So please broaden your thinking about what marketing encompasses.

For further reading, consider these blog posts:

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Marketing to Human Needs

If one is not marketing to human needs, that person should not be considered a marketer. Marketers, and especially those who craft brand strategy and marketing communications, must deeply understand human needs to perform their jobs well. I have written a number of blog posts over time that speak to addressing human needs. I have compiled links to them here to help you more easily find them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Brands & Storytelling

Stories are the glue that holds societies together. Consider the stories of Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims, the Boston Tea Party, the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. These are the basis of our American Heritage. They provide us with a sense of history and values and common purpose.

Consider the Biblical stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, Jonah and the whale, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, and more central to the Christian message, the birth of Christ, Jesus feeding the 5,000, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. These stories unite more than 2 billion Christians across the world today.

Consider your own family's stories. Your wedding night. Your honeymoon. Your first child. Your best vacation. Your child's first major accomplishment or recognition. A favorite place to which you returned year after year. A very funny moment. A shared tragedy. A special holiday. These memories are the glue that holds your family together.

I have been involved in Boy Scouts for more than 50 years. The memories that keep me coming back are the summers spent at Massawepie Scout Camps in the Adirondack Mountains, the 70-mile trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green, Virginia, and the World Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia. I can and do share these memories with other Scouters across the US.

Republicans enjoy recounting tales about famous Republican presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. While Democrats like to reminisce about the personalities, values and accomplishments of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barak Obama.

Whether you are a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, an industry conference, a brand of single malt scotch, a sports team, a rock band, a seaside town, a resort community or something else, you have your stories and your shared history.

Every society throughout history has had its stories. Every culture has had its myths and its folktales. Every religion has its parables and its stories about its founder and its history.

Stories provide context and meaning. They reinforce shared values. They tell cautionary tales. They imply standards of behavior. They provide a sense of heritage. And, most importantly, they create a sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself. They are what bind tribes together.

What are your brand's stories? Do they talk about the brand's origins? Do they convey certain personality attributes? Do they reinforce shared values? Do they reinforce your legendary service? Your extraordinary quality? Do they create a sense of community? Do they establish an emotional connection with its intended audiences? Are they memorable? Do they create a rallying cry?

I would contend that if a brand does not have its stories, it may be a brand in name only. I wish you great success in crafting and telling your brand's stories.