Le Force Majeure
Seven days ago I had a visit from Le Force Majeure.
Seven days later I am one stone lighter a little weaker and although much better I am still in bed as I write this article.
There are something’s arriving that we cannot control.
Le Force Majeure - this simply means a far superior force than what most can overcome. Overpowering, overwhelming and all consuming. It was and it has been.
So superior in fact it took away my appetite, took away my hunger, removed my energy and replaced my optimistic positive outlook with an almost depressed start to the past seven days. Even my temperature has been like a roller coaster - 40-plus one day alone.
Now the good news is the past two nights I sweated so much I had to change the bedding five times in one of those nights! Yes, that's the good news because this is the last stand of the force as my body fights back. As I write I have slept a lot of today and feel much better. And this is all during my disc herniation on New Years day.
Sometimes there are powers so great that they just arrive and remove all of your daily or any other expectations and you have no control.
So why am I sharing such a story of misery?
I believe 2017 there will be a different kind of Le Force Majeure heading towards your business. It will and has already affected strategies, tactics, social media and online marketing in ways that have brought devastating results.
And like the flu virus I have had I had a feeling I might catch something as the village has been like a plague and when you live in the village so closely like ours the chances of escape are slim.
Le Force Majeure heading towards your business isn't something new. It is a force I have been teaching and talking about for years to my clients. It is the death of average, me-too, same-old, same old follow-the-leader marketing. This hugely affects your campaign impact, results, conversions, and effect as you as a person.
The problem is this; Not only has the web bred a new breed of marketing expert with no expertise it has also bred a belief that things that are easy are hard and hard are easy.
This kind of expertise teaches things like
- It’s new so you should be doing it
- Everyone else does this so you should also
- Everyone is on Facebook
- Adwords is best
- Invest into SEO
- All business does business on LinkedIn
- You should definitely tweet daily
- A good sales letter will sell you more
- This is going to be huge
This is HIGH-RISK marketing.
Last year I don’t think I have ever seen so many new clients that are so overly fixated on doing what ISN’T WORKING! Yes actually fixated on doing things that just aren’t working in their businesses.
Like on client that has invested over £2,000 every month on SEO. This has gone on now (with his 3rd SEO company) for 10-months. He was confused that despite this endless cash being spent monthly they had poor positioning on Google and no increase in sales. The company kept telling him it simply takes time.
My team and myself took the account and carried out a very detailed check through everything that was apparently being done. It wasn’t being and the SEO that had been carried out was built around strategies that were in place over 10-years ago.
I have seen this time and time again with clients. I will write an article soon. I will name is something like WHY SEO IS DEAD because as a single strategy for any business it can be a death nail.
Or the client hat came to me and shared all of his endless post on LinkedIn. He boasted how some of his companies posts were getting more attention than any post similar. One post had 1800 comments and likes. I asked him this question.
“That’s a lot of likes, how many turn into leads and sales?”
His reply was this… ‘No sales as yet’
In fact no sales, no leads and no anything apart from spending hours with himself and team posting FREE content into LinkedIn. Again I see this time and time again.
Yet for 2017 I honestly, truly believe you, me, we are facing Le Force Majeure that will wipe out businesses by 2020 (in under 3-years). Le Force Majeure is not only an overwhelming force it is something that has more power than you think and can know.
Let me explain what it is for you.
Things we cannot control drive some forces. For example when the web really arrived for businesses this was a overpowering force or Le Force Majeure.
It meant that if you wanted not only to grow but survive in business you had to face this power and ride on it’s back. It couldn’t be defeated it simply had to be used as it moved.
As early as 1997 I started collecting email addresses from my clients as I thought it would be great to let them know what was happening via email as well as the more expensive direct mail I did at that time.
The problem I had was most of the clients I dealt with didn’t have something called an email address in those days. I would tell clients time and time again this was coming and they would have to ride the wave.
Of course there were the bigger companies, the corporations hat had their foundations so deep and so embedded in history that no change would affect them. They underestimated the Le Force Majeure of the times, ignored it and paid a heavy price.
Freeman, Hardy & Willis, Comet, Woolworths, C&A, Radio Rentals, and the mighty card shop Athena who went on to blame the internet for lost sales but the actual reality is they could have invested into the web and remained a leader. All are now extinct!
You are going to be faced with Le Force Majeure so great that one if the biggest issues now is not getting out of the noise and bombardment online but riding it, accepting it whilst mastering how to get seen through that noise.
Most will fail if they carry on in the old ways!
Those that work it out will win.
Here is just on e thing that will be huge and it’s nothing anyone has been talking about and it is something I have talked about for years.
BRANDING but not as you know it.
Most think of a BRAND as something as simple as a logo. Science has proved without a doubt that there is something much deeper taking place to create a successful brand.
I’ll happily share on with you right now.
The purpose of real branding is to create memory structures. These structures creates reminders and good thoughts associated with those reminders.
So part of the purpose of a BRAND is to create structures inside the memory. For a structure to be created to last it needs more than one element. Here’s an example for you.
The famous Coca Cola Christmas advert broken down has this.
- The colour red (a fixed HEX col)
- The white scroll font name
- The big truck
- The snow
- Christmas time
The five elements of this brand Ad have created a memory structure in the brain itself built around familiar feel good theme, colours, music and of course the big steal – Christmas day itself. It is a Masterclass of MEME or memory building.
That isn’t the whole story of course.
Whilst in Scotland recently with my wife we took a drive to Stirling Castle where we came across a tapestry. The tapestry told a story. It was the story of a Unicorn and its sacrifice. The tapestry had no words yet it had hidden letters woven into the cloth.
Here is what was interesting for me and will apply to business.
These were created in the 1300s. This was a time when people could not read. This was also a dangerous time to spread religious teaching. So the tapestry had to share the word of god, the sacrifice of Christ and use images the locals that saw this could relate to. They also could understand the secret single letters woven through.
Why is this BRAND story important?
This is a whole other story but is still part of Le Force Majeure.
People as humans haven’t changed.
The habits of people have changed and changed hugely.
Who would ever have thought you’d see masses frozen to a spot with their heads down staring at a small screen while their thumbs performs a continuous movement.
Everything marketing has changed and the pace will pick up even faster. If you fail to do this how are you going to get seen? Are you going to simply keep posting on social media or doing the same old thing whilst hoping it'll work?
You will have to make a major step forward into your BRAND more than ever before but not BRANDING as you might traditionally think – those old branding days have well and truly gone.
Would you like my eccentric rule breaking results driven expertise to help you do this?
You know how to get hold of me.
Alan Forrest Smith
We answer real phones here: Manchester UK, 00 44 (0) 161 928 8328