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Marketing That Works: 3 Founders Share Their Top Marketing Tips For 2019

Minutes Staff

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Here’s why storytelling, patient data-driven marketing, and—imagine this—offline marketing need to be part of your marketing strategy in 2019 and beyond.


I once proclaimed myself immune to marketing and branding. As a 20-year-old journalism major endlessly in search of some greater, hidden truth, one of life’s many veils had finally fallen: I was to no longer be influenced by the fool’s gold alchemy of marketing or advertising. From there on, I would evaluate each purchase I made, pair of shoes I wore, and product I used through an objective, practicality-, quality-, and value-focused lens.    

I had recently read that designer brand stores in outlet malls often carry lower-quality versions of high-end fashion products. Through a documentary, I had learned that virtually all designer eyeglasses and sunglasses are made by the same company—Luxottica—with very little in terms of quality justifying massive price point differences between brands. Whyever, I thought, would I engage in brand loyalty if there is no brand integrity? 

Fast-forward four years.

I recently bought a new (used) car. Of the five cars I test-drove, it came down to two: a 2015 Volkswagen Passat and a 2016 Kia Optima. The Optima was a bit cheaper, had fewer miles despite being a year newer, and got better gas mileage. From a practicality standpoint, the Optima was clearly the better choice. However, something deep down—ingrained in me I know not when or how—whispered a warning that Kias are cars for carting around your kids to soccer practice.

Today, I’m the owner of a sporty, V6 2015 Volkswagen Passat—a young man’s car. 

While still today, I’m not usually one for designer brands, I do like to look nice. Rarely will you find me in a situation in which I’m attempting to look presentable without a Fossil watch on my wrist. I own four (4) of them, each costing between $80-120. Something about that price point makes me feel as though Fossil is respectable and of quality, but far from grandiose. Fossil’s branding and general aesthetic, to me, strikes a perfect balance between classic and modern. 

If I were to buy a fifth watch, I wouldn’t consider anything but Fossil. Is that what they call … brand loyalty? Huh

Maybe I’m not so marketing- and brand-immune after all. 

Marketing, when done right, is extremely effective—even to those who attempt to perceive it as smoke and mirrors. And it’s very likely that, if you’re in the market for marketing advice, you should read on for expert insight from a couple of successful founders and one all-star CMO.

Dan Almasi

 Heidi Zak: As we embrace data-driven marketing, don’t write off offline marketing. 

“Offline marketing often seems like a risky proposition for e-commerce companies.

Today, everything is tracked, measured, analyzed, and organized. Clicks are counted, and page views are neatly displayed on spreadsheets.

To put money behind a marketing channel where results are difficult to track seems strange, or even foolish.

Yet I’d argue that offline marketing channels like radio, television, and even direct mail have plenty of potential in the digital age. While you can’t get immediate stats on the exact number of clicks and conversions as you would with a Facebook ad, these efforts can be just as effective. You simply have to invest the proper amount of time and resources.

This includes being open to trying new channels because you don’t really know what’s going to work until you give it a shot. It’s best to be agnostic when it comes to the digital/non-digital divide.

If you take a consistent and patient approach when trying new offline channels, you’ll almost certainly end up finding some that work for you.”

Read the full article here: This Is How Offline Marketing Can Work In The Digital Age 

Brian Evans: It’s one thing to collect data, and another thing entirely to use it effectively to drive your marketing efforts. The key to an effective data-driven marketing strategy? Patience and being able to interpret data. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people give up on a campaign or a niche market too early. Given a few more weeks and a handful of split tests, they would have been successful.

The problem is that a lot of people don’t realize how badly a small sample size can skew their results. They run a campaign for five days and then get depressed at the low level of engagement with the ad. But by running it for five days with a minimal budget, they were only able to reach a tiny percentage of their target audience. Discrepancies always arise in a small sample size.

For example, if I asked the next 10 people I meet what they think about my favorite movie, they all might agree that it’s great. That doesn’t mean everyone in Los Angeles thinks the same way, or that the ratio would hold up for a larger audience.

If you have confidence in your idea and you’re committed to testing it, then you have to be patient as well. You need self-restraint to consider the data you receive and identify whether or not the sample size is misleading.”

Read the full article here: 5 Skills You Need To Become A Marketing Expert (From A Serial Marketing Entrepreneur) 

Gary Lyng: Know and speak to your audience. 

“As is critical in all kinds of storytelling, you have to remember who your story is for. Different audiences require different means of messaging, modes of expression, and topical focuses. If you’re telling the story of your company or product to someone steeped in IT knowledge, emphasis on the technological bells and whistles––speeds, feeds, and features––might make sense. Not everyone will care as much, however, about how your high-performance storage system developed on flash runs quickly and reliably. 

Some target customers at the executive level, for example, may care more about earnings per share or cost-saving mechanisms than speed or features of a particular product. 

This is a lesson I’ve learned and observed as a product leader and marketer: Different audiences necessitate different storytelling objectives. What matters is what resonates at one’s core. 

In light of this, talk to your customers to find out what they need and what they’re interested in. And it benefits you, too, to get specific. Before a sales pitch, actually ask potential customers about their objectives, about the things they want to stop doing and the things they want to create. Then, cater your story around that.”

Read the full article here: Every Successful Company Has An Impactful Story. Here Are 4 Ways To Better Tell Your Own

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