What is 'marketing mojo'?
Harley Davidson. Apple. Mini Cooper. AMEX. Nike. J K Rowling. Is it a word? An idea? An experience? A feeling? Or an expectation?
Whatever it is, it’s an indefinable quality that conjures up certain emotions in your customers.
Of course people have attempted to define it. Marshall Goldsmith, author of, you guessed it, Mojo, How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It identifies mojo as ‘… that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates outside.’
Debbi Josendale of the 3C Marketing Group extends this to marketing and describes it as: ‘that positive energy that comes from your ability to show through words and actions, the unique value your service business provides in a way that is authentic and naturally radiate confidence attracting perfect clients.’
Which is all very well. But how do you get it and how can you boost your marketing with it?
Where to start: your motivation
Marketing and social media ‘guru’, Guy Kawasaki advocates a ‘bottoms up’ approach to marketing: don’t shout from the highest mountain, instead find the customers who like you and trust the quality of your products and engage with them. They’ll share their love and your popularity will grow.
This has to be the basis of any marketing strategy. Think about Zappos and the iPhone. The content you build around your ideas, Kawasaki says, must be ‘deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant.’
Easy for him to say. True, but that’s why its the road less travelled.
Apple took the hard route. What matters most to Apple is ensuring ‘every idea we touch enhances each life it touches’. Its products exude intelligence and empowerment. Its marketing content is elegant and reaches out to its customers. Apple defines itself by the following three principles:
- I am a human being, not a human doing
- People care about people, not causes
- We are all in this together
Bringing home the mojo
The consumer isn’t a moron. She’s your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her. David Ogilvy
‘Content is King!’ said Bill Gates. Guy Kawasaki agrees but with one important caveat: 'if you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.'
Valuable, creative content based on compelling ideas is especially important for small companies. Podcasts, videos, blogs and interviews on topics that would be of interest to your audience – all help build a loyal following. Think blogs on tax advice for accountants; health food recipes for restaurants; renovation and selling tips for property firms.
Embrace the weird, says Seth Godin. Look for the people who ‘care’ and will therefore ‘listen’ to what you have to say. The masses, he says, have too many choices and no time to listen.
When people are moved by a service, a product or an idea, they make it their own and it becomes ‘a symbol of who they are’. So they will talk about it because to do so means they are sharing something important about themselves.
One way of understanding your customers is by getting to know your competition. Jumpshot lists five ways your competition can help you understand your audience.
- Traffic and engagement trends.
- Sources and online behaviour of their audience.
- Traffic and keyword analysis.
- Landing pages – what works and what doesn’t.
- Look for niches and missed opportunities you can target.
A little marketing mojo magic
Rachael Evans at Man Bites Dog has five simple steps to get you inspired, creative and all mojo’ed up:
- Notice the little things in the world around you. Be OPEN.
- Be greedy. Soak up experiences outside of your comfort zone. Disciplines, Industries, People. Be Curious.
- Explore the edges of society and the mainstream. Be cultured.
- Get away from it all to dream, listen, walk or think. Be Idle.
- Look for the silver lining. Be Positive.
Apple seems to have applied all of the above. Its customer service is inspired by the legendary customer service on display at the Ritz Carlton and is all about ‘surprising’ and ‘delighting’. Carmine Gallo, a renowned communications coach and popular keynote speaker talks about this in his book The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty.
We keep coming back to Apple. Apple isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but in January 2015, it reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company. Apple’s marketing mojo works.
Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals. David Ogilvy
When you’re ready to talk to your customers, remember it’s best to tell a story. Make an emotional connection. Marketing consultant and entrepreneur Chris Brogan, makes this point in a podcast with OntrackTips.
Steve Jobs didn’t talk about memory and bytes when he was selling the iPod. He said, 'You can put 1,000 songs in your pocket. You can control the party. This device makes you cool, you nerd!'
If at first you don’t succeed
Never fall in love with an idea. They’re whores. If the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another. Chip Kidd
Be brave. Be passionate about reinventing yourself. Keep your product and content fresh and interesting. And don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Trying to squeeze marketing mojo out of a stale idea will never work.
Look at your website’s historical performance to find out where you stand and who cares about you. Take a cold hard look at your marketing strategy. What has worked and what needs to change? Don’t overdo it. Just three basic marketing metrics will do the trick nicely – bounce rate, conversion rate and return on investment.
Advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy. David Ogilvy
As its target market evolved, Nike adjusted to the changing landscape by moving away from selling products through television ads to selling a lifestyle. It now uses social media campaigns and health gadgets (partnering with Apple sometimes) to attract customers young and old.
This strategy requires a deep understanding of prospective customers.
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter F. Drucker
And that is what successful marketing mojo is all about: understanding that what you’re saying or selling is not about you; it’s about them.