Late last night I returned from a 10 day journey to Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels. Amongst many vacation pleasures (i.e. site seeing, croissant-eating, Belgian beer-tasting, etc.) I had the pleasure of seeing what the ahead-of-the-times (literally 7 hours ahead of us) Europeans are doing with their marketing and design. From poking into modern concept shops and marketing and design offices, I feel inspired to be back and think fresh. Here are some ways to apply this to your week as well.
1. Study what makes people care
On the last leg of my plane ride last night, I sat next to an architect. Despite the fact that he was much later in his career and I'm not an architect, we ended up talking for an hour and a half as we discovered our shared interests in creativity and design. The reason I'm telling you this is that he left me with a nugget he said he had carried with him through his career – one that really resonated with me as a marketer.
First, look at what's out there – keep up with trends and see what others are doing well. Then, make it your own – create things that will make people care more about your work than others'. What can you and your brand bring to the trend that isn't out there already. Why should people care about you?
A post by Thomas Morselt discusses a different way to think of creativity; it's all about context. With all of the ad blockers out there and the ability to click away from ads, it's not enough to just be creative in your marketing. You have to look at the context – time, day, need of your audience – and play to that. He pulls case studies of companies that are doing this really well. Read more in "Rethinking creativity in marketing."
Successful marketing campaign by waze
3. Capitalize on your brand
As seen in how many tourist love to go to major sites and take their picture (like the ever-crowded Berlin Wall or I Amsterdam sign), people like to be a part of something that others have recognized as important. This relates to branding in that users like to identify with a brand.
It may seem to contradict what we think seeing as we already know people don't typically like ads. However, "74% of survey respondents [say] brands that create content they like can become like friends on social media" (recent Yahoo study).
Think about that a minute: people like identifying with brands and don't see them as ads to block, but rather friends to watch on social media. If you can really hone in on what you do, who you are, and then present this in a creative and consistent manner people will more likely gravitate to your company.
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