Posts Tagged ‘ marketing ’

Marketing Myths Busted

August 15, 2012

If you’ve ever read Chicken Little, you know how he was laughed at when he said that the sky was falling- but when more and more people started saying it, more and more people began to believe it. The same holds true when talking about marketing; just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s true or effective. Businesses waste thousands each year trying to market with traditional methods just because that’s what everyone else does – here are some of the most common myths about marketing, and how you can avoid the troubles that come along with them.

If I offer a great product, my business will be successful.

Of course your product or service’s quality is important, but it has little relevance to how successful your business will be. Some very successful brands offer a low-quality product, while there are failed businesses offering great products. Your brand’s success is dependent upon more than quality, and offering something great won’t lead the world to your product. To avoid this pitfall, “beta test” your offering; use brand tracking studies to ask your potential audiences for their opinions.

Spending more on advertising means more profit.

This is a common mantra among ad salespeople, and its repetition means that it’s taken seriously. Doing anything in business just because it’s always been done that way can only end in trouble; many brands spend copious amounts of money on advertising that misses the mark. There are ways to build a brand, but advertising isn’t the only way, it can often be a maintenance step. Use broadcast, print and online media to build your visibility and credibility.

Referrals will make your business profitable.

This myth is the most common reason why start-ups fail; we’ve heard business owners say that they don’t advertise or use other branding methods because they’re waiting on good word-of-mouth. This may work to some degree, but with all the options available to customers these days, waiting for referrals can be a slow way to build business. Launching a blog is a great way to build an email list and gain word-of-mouth at the same time; blogs are free to set up and they’re good for engaging customers.

You need a variety of skills to become successful.

There are many competent, personable people who’ve failed at creating a successful brand. Having the above qualities puts you at an advantage, but the reality is that even people with neither of these qualities can be successful. There’s one skill that businesses overlook: daily marketing. To grow your business, commit to doing things like releasing articles, making phone calls, posting on new websites, or launching a blog.

It costs a lot to brand your business through marketing, public relations and advertising.

This myth is so widely believed that it’s unreal! It’s true that a lot of new brands don’t succeed due to insufficient funding, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to build a brand. Using widely-available social networking, print and online media tools, you can build your credibility. You can also gain exposure for your brand by convincing local media to feature your business; even if you want to go global, you should start closer to home.

This guest post was written and contributed by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hall and Partners, who specialise in brand tracking studies. Find out at or read more about branding and marketing here.

What a Daily Mail Reporter Named Samantha Brick Can Teach You About Event Marketing

April 5, 2012

Can It Pay To Be An Attention Seeking Ho-bag?

There’s always a good story or two to be told somewhere.  Some of these are great and some are not so great.

Let’s take  a look  at a recent example that whilst seemingly innocuous offers one or two important lessons for you event organisers.

The Daily Mail recently ran a story which was penned by one of its staff by the name of Samantha Brick.

This isn’t the first time that the Daily Mail has courted controversy and it certainly won’t be the last.  The Daily Mail is in the business of page views. Page views feed it’s rate card and for that reason it does its utmost to gain as much attention as it can, and boy it hit the jackpot yesterday!

Samantha wrote a piece around the difficulties of being beautiful. No really, she did. This caused an up swell of  commentary  in places all around the web.

Media Briefing has posted some great stats around the economics of the story detailing ad revenue models and various numbers from web sources.

The Mail itself reports that the article had 1.5 million “hits” yesterday but Mail Online MD James Bromley tells me that the entire site received nearly six million unique visits yesterday (which fits with the ABC-audited average daily user figure for March of 5.7 million). Most traffic is from the UK, he says, but the US follows close behind.

Twitter was ablaze with outrage and ridicule generating over 1 million tweets (and rising) on the topic. The graph below shows the activity for the keywords Samantha Brick and Daily Mail over the previous 7 days as of April 5th 2012.

The article itself, generated in excess of 5000 comments. At it’s peak it was receiving around 4 new comments per second.


There are a wave of copycat type stories both threatened.


And inevitably  written by some too.

People are of course  having a lot of fun with this, although going by some of the comments some are quite angry too.

Samantha even appeared on UK national TV this morning program (video) and gave her reason for writing the piece as she was concerned that other women were less than polite to her because of her looks.

The Daily Mail has also ran a follow up piece (and lots of others) and is clearly milking it for all its worth.

Get people excited by things that they care about

I’m not going to try and  rehash or debate any of what Samantha has said or what’s been written about her as that’s clearly been done to death.  I’d merely be contributing to the echo chamber and would look like one of those copycat page view whores. It is noteworthy all the same that Samantha is most certainly not the most beautiful woman in the world (unless you’re her Dad, Mum or her Husband maybe) but  because of the way in which she’d wrote her piece, she’s inflamed the egos and passions of people  almost everywhere.

And therein is the clue P A S S I O N.

If you want to make your event a success, then you have to try and inspire a little passion in folks.

You have to get people excited, you have to try and get them to care about what it is you are saying.

Samantha Brick outraged the sensibilities of men and women by daring to suggest that she had this terrible problem of beauty.  She came across as some kind narcissistic dimwit who lived in this make believe world full of jealous others who saw her as some kind of threat. She failed (some might say on purpose) to grasp the fact that in the grand scheme of things she really isn’t anything particularly special to look at. She’s hardly ugly (every-body’s beau-ti-ful in their own wa-y) but she wrote the piece as if what she was saying was in some way unquestionably true.

People hate bullshit, especially when its delivered from an established platform of perceived authority with a fine tradition in print news.

Cynics would say that the piece was in fact a finely crafted piece of writing devised solely to enrage and stoke scorn and derision.  AKA Linkbait. Links are the hidden economy of the web. They drive relevancy and boost rankings in search engines like Google and Bing. High rankings for keywords can mean big money for certain types of publishers. The Mail Online isn’t the first reactionary news publisher and it certainly won’t be the last.

When you consider the economics, 6 million page views @ a CPM(cost per 1000 page impressions) of  between 20 and 40 GBP is a princely sum of between £120,000 and £240,000! Yes, wow.

Even if those CPM figures are somewhat inflated it’s still a handy insight in to what drives interest on todays web. People it seems love to be annoyed, they love to rage out and have their say, especially when  they fundamentally disagree with what’s been posited.

The key takeaway here is that whatever your event may be about, it really does pay to think around what hooks and devices are there at your disposal.

Thinking about the Psychology of your intended audience

Samantha’s piece hit so many buttons in the minds of both men and women, you could almost see the lights flashing from the moon.

She touched raw nerves and dared tread on topics that most people would only joke about in some light hearted way. She gave people an impression that she truly believed in what she was saying and that her life really was made difficult by her ‘beauty’.

This of course sparked fire in peoples mind and induced mass incredulity as people mocked and laughed at how she could truly believe this. When you compare her difficulties with those of someone blinded or critically injured then it begins to put things in a perspective where people were justifiably flabbergasted by what she was saying.

And yet, that’s the power of good writing.  It allows the writer to keep a straight face throughout, there’s no immediate point at which we can counter the readers belief or opinion mid flow. What we say is digested and interpreted as it is read.

By pressing the right buttons we can elicit responses that really can create mass interest. People will want to share their concerns and have in their droves linked to the piece over and over again.

Whilst the example cited may seem a little extreme, it most certainly illustrates the benefits of attention.  If you are marketing your event, it is your job to create attention, and it most certainly pays to give it that little extra thought.  How you go about that is  of course, entirely up to you.

Did I ever tell you how tough it is to be a man?