Yeah, I said it. Marketing is a bunch of CRAP! But not the kind of crap you may be thinking I mean. I am talking about C.R.A.P.: Communicate, relate, anticipate and participate.
These are the foundations of an effective marketing campaign and will help any brand, any PR pro or any marketer work better with their clients and potential customers. So, spread the CRAP and let me know what you think.
Photo from Flickr user kool_skatkat under Creative Commons.
This is a pretty obvious practice and should be standard operating procedure. Communicating means not just broadcasting, but responding and conversing with your audience as well. Most organizations fall short in a couple of key areas.
Openness is essential. The Beta’s delayed? Say so. There’s a bug? Fix it, apologize and move on to new features. There is a limit to how open you want to be, but I feel that in order for a company to succeed, it needs to be as open as responsibly possible.
Brevity is a key. I have invented a word: conciseification (ironic, no?), which means “take what you said in 500 words and say it in 200. Take your four sentences and make them two. By tightening your message, it becomes more memorable. The recipient can take the message away much easier.
Listening makes you a good spouse. By actively listening and conversing with your audience, they feel respected, empowered and happy. A happy audience is one of the most effective marketing tools possible.
Relating to your potential market is absolutely essential. Don’t just go to the trade show, take it over. Be a presence anywhere your potential customer base is at. This does not need to be huge parties, expensive sponsorships or even in-depth webinars.
A simple hello or a simple appearance at a meetup is enough. People will remember the brand or the business that goes the extra step to go to a Barcamp or to go to a PHP Meetup. Your competition isn’t doing it, so you should be.
This is probably the hardest premise to follow. In the tech business, people the customers generally get what they want. How can you as a marketer anticipate what the customer wants? Easy: Follow the other three elements of this post.
By communicating, relating and participating, you become an expert. You can identify trends and you can jump ahead of the mob to deliver the solution it is running toward.
I thought about just retyping the word “participate.” But I realized there’s a lot more to participation than being present. You’re participating because you have a goal: to succeed. But if you are genuinely passionate about the product or brand you are representing, then it will show.
Photo from Flickr user matiasjajaja under Creative Commons.
These concepts make for an effective cornerstone for a product launch, a new campaign or simply reconnecting with your audience. Step in this CRAP and the only thing you’ll smell is success. What do you think?