God I feel as though I have lived two dramatically different lives. The death of my first life was so dramatic it changed everything. Change was needed and if I had not made the changes I would have died inside. I did resist it for years. Once the change was made, my life changed forever.
Your marketing is no different.
Lets talk business but in a frank way from a bearded master of marketing! Delete me at any point if I annoy you or touch a nerve or do yourself a favour and keep reading (I'm done caring)!
I’m getting fed up with people like you that think you know best. Yet you complain and main and cry about lack of sales. You ask for advice, I give advice and you ignore it. If you think doing the same old thing you’ve always done but with a new coat of paint will save or grow your business - you are deluded. (you really think people sit around the TV like the photo above waiting for your messages?)
There are those that believe they need to change but their engrained thinking and habits stops them from change. Empires are built helping people change habits - it is a problem, we stick to what we know and fear what we don’t know or understand.
I spoke to a client just the other day. When I say a client - he isn’t a client and I don’t think will be a client but lets say client for the sake of this letter.
He told me how his industry is struggling (like most).
His marketing has looked almost the same for the past 9 years.
Messages - the same! Words - the same! Images - The same!
Yet has his audience changed?
His marketing is created by his genius and his genius creates old black and white marketing that no one cares about, no one reads and no one remembers - this was reflected in his massively dropped sales
So this client told me he had invested in copy - more copy - more ads and more messages yet it was no longer converting. He wanted change but resisted change. He wanted new but resisted new. He wanted image but resisted image.
No more sales, no more leads just a bunch of me-too business doing the same old stuff, chasing the same old customers yet he understood the need to change but resists change.
This is not a unique problem and here’s why.
If you think you can do the same old stuff that you’ve always done - you are deluding yourself.
Last night on Aljazera there was a program about war. Not exactly about war but about how images are winning wars in Syria. The image they should was a rebel raising a flag but what it didn’t show was how the rebels were also losing.
Yet that one moment, that one image was so powerful it creates horde of new followers for the rebel alliance all over the world.
Here’s what takes place.
The image is captured. That image then passes into the eye. It then gets processed in the brain. The brain creates a story behind that image that is acceptable to the person. A decision is made whether to store that image or forget it.
Depending on the power or strength of the imagery you are remembered or forgotten.
Now of course famously the Nazis were the first to use mass media marketing for war yet the truth is their images are hard to forget.
Red, black, symbols. In fact just the sight of one of their symbols could strike fear into the hearts of people and even whole continents were left scared on the sight of a single image. Others followed and created powerful instant images.
Yet that was then and now is now.
Certainly we had periods where words became more important then imagery yet imagery has always been the one thing that captures the moment and embeds the lasting thought.
Its also interesting relationship experts that advise broken hearted to get over a relationship ask the heartbroken to write down the images that captured the perfect moment during the relationship. They ask them to describe them in detail and then work with them to remove that image from their mind.
Facebook images posted daily are now at 350 million Instagram images posed daily are now at 55 million
Right now we are an image driven society that see and needs less depth but are driven by what we see in a fleeting moment on images.
Are you still thinking images are not that important?
So you’d better get your images right.
If you are selling cool make sure your images are cool If you are selling rich make sure your images look rich If you are selling speed make sure your images look fast
Because if you don’t … you are stuffed.
Like it or not right now image has never been more important. Getting right to the point has never been so critical. Saying everything in one or two lines has never been so important.
This means if you are still playing around with your old ways yet your not happy with your old results … you are heading for a fall but still have choices.
Choice one is get expert advice so you can get the edge. Once you get that advice resist the temptation to override that advice with your own un-expert opinion. Ask yourself what can happen if I take a risk? Ask yourself what can happen if I don’t take a risk?
Listen and trust me…
This is the fast society and has never been faster and will only get faster. Just 12 months ago and new term was created that of ‘double-screening’ you know TV on and smart phone on at the same time.
Now it’s triple, quadruple screening. Instant everything.
You no longer have control of your marketing - not like in the old days where you could maybe sell them what you wanted to sell them. This is the share and review generation, they decided what gets bought and what fails.
So the bottom line for you is if you resist change and continually go back to what was you are heading for a failure.
Even my 79 year old dad uses iPad and text! He is an instant everything guy. My kids are like people from another universe, pressing and touching as they go. I know you’ve seen the same in your home or in your life so why would you assume your customers want the same old stuff that …
They won’t read They refuse to read They turn their backs on
I used to say you have 3 seconds to grab a client. Today I’d stake my reputation on it’s now ONE SECOND.
So do yourself a favour …
Stop resisting change Pursue change Create powerful imagery Create headlines with 1, 2, 3 or no more than 5 words
Give them what they should know in short, sharp, powerful copy. Use one word that conveys the power of a red-hot branding experience.
But most of all pay for good advice and don’t override your chosen expert after all … they are the expert you asked advice for - you are simplyy a person in business wanting to thrive.
Listen your not the only one in your market place and frankly theres a lot of people chasing your tail so can you get your finger out and make changes.
Your 15 year old marketing no longer works Your ten year old marketing no longer works Your 3 year old marketing no longer works What you did last year I doubt works this year.
STOP resisting change, you don’t know what is best - ask an expert - get an expert - call me and lets make it happen.
Your Bearded Marketing Warrior
Alan Forrest Smith
P.s Name 12 business that were ICONIC that have now vanished. Why? They recognised change but resisted changed. They deserved to vanish. How about you?