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Basic Training for a Tipping Point


Published on: Apr 15, 2016 by Michael SnyderNo comments

Mapping the customer journey. Securing strategic predictive intelligence. Locking down the omni-channel focus.

basic training, success, tipping point, PR, marketing
Yes, another happy stock photo illustrating success factors. But what are the fundamentals that lead to this point?

Eyes glazed over yet? These are all important tactics. But as you’ve likely experienced, every quarter the marketing success white papers and survey data roll in. What’s self-serving, and what’s truly helpful?

Here’s an important question: apart from the buzzwords, jargon and self-proclaimed wannabe “mission critical” stuff, what do you really need to build a marketing outreach that produces actionable heightened awareness and steady conversions? What’s your foundation?

MEK recently had the privilege of serving as a sub-contractor for a marketing project with the U.S. Army Brand Group. In the process, some rock-steady principles reestablished themselves. They apply basically everywhere. Let’s call it Marketing Basic Training. Here are a few principles for your consideration:

Don’t forget the fundamentals. Every summer the National Football League jeopardizes its multi-million human capital during an extraordinarily high-risk period: training camp. What do they focus on first? Fundamentals. Blocking and Tackling. When the fundamentals are truly mastered, the professionals move to the next level. The key takeaway? The fundamentals are important enough to risk high-level assets. What about you? What fundamentals do you need to revisit and master?

Marketing today lives in the most cluttered communication environment that could ever be imagined.  Marketing is fast, but your prospects are faster. In many instances, you have just a few seconds, perhaps even less than a second, to capture a piece of your prospect’s cerebral bandwidth. If your message isn’t rewarding, you basically don’t stand a chance.

And while we’re thinking about messaging, do your marketing messages fulfill these five “must-have” elements? If you want to break through the aforementioned clutter, your messages, you organization, your brand must:

  • Be credible.
  • Be believable.
  • Be motivating.
  • Be inspiring.
  • Be capable of ownership.

How do you achieve that marketing tipping point? Malcolm Gladwell served us all well by mapping out critical pathways to achieve that elusive tipping point in marketing. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a powerful one. The tipping point goes by many names. But it represents that charmed and often unexpected time when everything suddenly goes right. Momentum occurs. Sales skyrocket. Your smartphone phone rings so much it runs out of battery life. Tipping point = positive epidemic.

A critical point? Little things make a big difference. (Hint: see mastering the fundamentals point above)

How do you get there?

Gladwell describes the Law of the Few: 80% of the heavy lifting will be done by the 20% of people with rare gifts: the “Connectors” (those who know large groups of people and make strategic introductions – see my blog “Thoughts from a PR Giant”); the “Mavens” (information specialists who start word-of-mouth epidemics due to their ability to communicate complex ideas and make them relevant); and “Salesmen” (persuasive individuals who serve as critical personal influencers). Add to that what Gladwell notes as “The Stickiness Factor,” the living and compelling content of a message that renders its impact as actionable and memorable. For marketers, this all comes together with what Gladwell says is “The Power of Context.”  For an information/marketing epidemic to take root and spread, the environment and timing has to be right. What marketing platform will you use? Why will you use it (and what combination)? How do you effectively touch people with a compelling message?

A digital focus on omni-channel strategy, customer personas and SEO-friendly content is great, even terrific. But it’s potentially sub-optimized, even sometimes all for naught, if the basics aren’t mastered and in place.

Thanks for reading this far. Here’s what Super Bowl champion coach Tony Dungy notes as an imperative key for success: “It’s not necessarily who has the most talent, but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best.”

How are you training for your tipping point?

–Michael Snyder, Managing Principal, The MEK Group (Want more? E-mail us)


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