This post is part of the September blog series. With FutureM coming in October (do you have your pass yet?!), we're thinking a lot about marketers and consumers, and this series reflects that. We asked our writers to answer this question: "what is it going to take for marketers to catch up to consumers?" We'll be sharing several posts each week of the month. Stay tuned for diverse viewpoints and creative answers to this question. This post is by Courtney Parkinson. Fueled by high-octane coffee, Courtney wears many hats in her efforts to keep Mad*Pow out in front of the pack and in the public eye. Described as a "digital Vanna White" she manages the production and execution of monthly webinars, events, email campaigns, and manages all of Mad*Pow's social media accounts. She was part of the Mad*Pow team responsible for bringing the HXD Conference to Boston in 2011 and 2012..
Keeping up with consumers is challenging for any marketing team. Whether it’s a team of 50 or as the Hangover character, Alan Garner put it, “a one-man wolf pack,” there are a few things I have learned during my time as a Marketing Specialist at Mad*Pow that are necessary to help us stay in the hearts of our clients, and most importantly in their minds.
As the months have turned into years, and the “one-man wolf pack” that was Mad*Pow’s marketing team grew by two, some things have stayed the same. One of those is our appetite for being a little quirky. It’s that quirkiness that’s kept us front and center in the hearts of our clients. You might be saying, “Isn’t that the design team’s job? You know – the people who actually make the product?” Well, partly.
Whether conscious of it or not, all good marketing teams are constantly asking themselves: what are we doing to set our company apart? Make no mistake: a client’s perception of your company is just as important as their perception of your product. So how do you enhance that perception? You sweat the small stuff. Start by spicing up your leave-behinds, holiday cards and anything else you’re planning to leave with a client or prospect. Here’s how to do it:
Straight up, get “OG"
No, I don’t mean sending them your company’s brand via bandana or gang initiation requirements. I’m saying leave your fingerprints on whatever you give your customers. Dust off those pens. Pull out that pad of paper. And put your penmanship to practice. Give a person who spends eight hours a day looking at a screen something handwritten, and their fingers will tremble.
GASP! SOMETHING HAND-WRITTEN!?
Trust me, this sounds like ancient history to us too. It’s rarely done in today’s digital realm – but that’s exactly why you should do it. Face it – would you rather get an e-vite – essentially 1 of 50 other e-mails you’re going to get today – or a cute, hand-crafted card with a witty message included?
Mix up your Marketing Materials – Mystery (Brown Paper) Bag Style
That’s right, we’re talking goody bags – like the kind you gave out at your eighth birthday party (circa 1994). Send them out after an event, or just leave them behind. It’s another idea that requires you to do work, instead of a computer. Who wouldn’t love that? Plus, it will give a glimpse of your inner child’s imagination (we all still have one, no matter how old we are). Don’t make it fancy; it should just be a little something that says, “Wanted to let you know we were thinking about you”. Sounds ridiculous! Who has that kind of time?! Many clients, speakers or prospects can’t even accept gifts!
I get it, BUT…!
You bring marketing materials to give out and display in your booth during events, right? And you tend to leave with less materials than when you got there, right? If you think about it, goody bags are just consolidated marketing materials with a few extra surprises. And why not be the company with a few extra surprises? Chances are it will keep you top of mind, instead of the other guy.
Okay, so you may not get the whole goody bag thing, and you have no idea how you’re going to get your niece/nephew to handwrite all those thank you cards (at this point in your digitally driven career your handwriting is barely legible). Fear not! You can still make them smile. As long as you make sure you “know” your client’s personality and prove it to them.
Don’t send the same thing to every client. Find out what makes them laugh, and sprinkle a little of your personality into it. They should want to rip off the front of your card and hang it above their mantel (aka monitor), providing a humorous break from a dreary day. When a client is deciding on their next project, sometimes that’s all the difference it takes.