The Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategy?
Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize outlines some inspiring statistics of how much progress we've made and why there's so much more potential than we give ourselves credit for.
I came upon the story of Diamandis by way of Angel Investor Matt Ward and was thunderstruck by Matt's statement:
This channeled Diamandis presentation, I thought perfectly and it inspired the idea of imagining the ultimate digital marketing strategy (here on out UDMS). Diamandis explains how 'now' can be the middle of a much bigger realization of accomplishment if you can dream big enough – he cites the examples: the transistor first appearing in 1958, the digital camera showing up 1976, the first GPS in 1981 costing $119,000 and by 2010 less than $5.
How can we imagine a 100 billion fold improvement in the work we are doing today?
Anyone knows I exist, the moment I want them to.
"People don't know we exist" is the most common phrase I've heard over the past 20 years, most acutely by The Chicago Academy for the Arts which has been responsible for some of the most successful entertainers. Yet people had no idea they existed a few short years ago. Helping get their story out inspired a completely different way of digital marketing by building a website in real time. Quite by accident really, but profoundly moving was an experience where their official photographer fed me images and I installed the images within minutes into a new website showing everyone almost instantaneously how the final effort would look.
Radio, live television, twitter – all had tremendous impact because of it's immediacy. How can a marketing effort become instantaneous? We're pioneering this idea further by assembling full creative crews at the client's facility – capturing video and photography, audio interviews, SEO research and on-the-spot writing. But we're also sharing everything we're learning because the cost of the tools for digital marketing is reaching near zero. Anyone and everyone should be practicing these new, hyper cost effective ideas that above all, require more of a change in thought than anything else.
Below, I outline 6 ways we're working to shrink how we capture an organization and motivate audiences as close to instantly as we can get.
They Know Exactly What I Have to Offer
Once we have someone's attention, the next ultimate success is their understanding of exactly what we have to offer. How much work is that right now? The education and sales process? The ones that left despite having the information, they just never found it. The older information and the work of keeping it clean and in accurate order.
When you really dig into the study of relationships, trust, and then ultimately fandom, cultivating and engaging an audience is a natural human condition that's quite awesome when you get a chance to see that materialize into a following.
Several of the 6 points below are tied directly to this aspect of the UDMS.
By purchase, I take a broad spectrum and include the act of giving us anything in exchange for what we've provided in the previous steps. A willing email address and some of their attention would be a significant win. The ultimate is surely buying our products or services, but like every relationship, all things take time to build.
Attention is rapidly becoming a limited and coveted resource. The sooner we treat a person's commitment as a valuable purchase, the faster the ultimate transactions we're after can occur.
Six key pillars.
Getting to 1000x takes a new way of thinking and what better way than a tool designed specifically to change minds: education.
Education is a wonderful two way street. For most industries – as is the case with digital marketing – there is an abundance of free information which with a well designed curriculum, you can absorb and master most anything. Podcasts, videos, ebooks, Medium Articles, Instagram channels, LinkedIn Groups – anyone can learn anything.
Now turn that study around and feed it to your yet unknown customers. Teach – with patience and persistence, but share everything you're learning and do it as if your helping a friend.
Nicholas Negroponte, co-creator of Wired Magazine and founder of One Laptop per Child discovered something amazing when he dropped off sealed boxes of tablets into two Ethiopian villages. The mission was to see if kids with absolutely no exposure to written words of any kind (no printed materials, road signs or packaging) could learn how to read all by themselves.
I bring up this example because if you have kids, you can certainly identify with the challenges of inspiring a child to want to learn. Using some of the new pioneering techniques in education, we can construct in education the engine for connecting and fuel it with content as the gas.
2. "Content is The Atomic Particle of Marketing" – Rebecca Lieb
It's weird growing up in digital as a web designer and saying your web design is meaning less and less every single day. That's what I see everything pointing to over the past 20 years of building sites.
Several clients have said the same thing: Today's websites are all looking the same. And that's an accurate statement in response to websites all converging on layout that works on any device. What went from 1 screen (desktop), to three screens (desktop, tablet, mobile) to every thing in between, most marketing endeavors are not going to pay for different sites for different devices. The only differentiator left is content and content is wonderfully responsive to any device when it's created independent of any constraining platform – a website, social presence or hard assets. The UDMS focuses on how to put content first, and capture and produce it more beautifully and cheaper than has ever been possible.
3. Meeting People Where They're At
I've sent some of my best work to great friends and colleagues who themselves did not get around to taking a look. That's where I began to understand everybody's busy, and carving out anyone's time – even those that care a great deal about what you have to say is still a tall order.
So, you have to go where they are. Anything I want to talk with an audience about, I title the topic and then search Google to see how popular the idea is and what information is currently provided to the audience I'm trying to tell this to.
You can still tell those really awesome stories but they have to come as the answer to some question. And it's totally cool to lead them to the story you want to tell, especially if it's a different story than what everyone is seeing come up in the top search results.
This pre-research in driving how you communicate your services can be transformative. Skimming through just the first page of results in a Google search, many have a tendency to reframe who they are and how they communicate which is possible when you consider those results are often the top of millions of results aligned from billions of clicks.
The UDMS is only possible with consistency in output – something I totally struggle with but fully admit it's an absolute must.
Just like practicing an instrument, if you do just 15 minutes a day, you're far better off than skipping days and practicing hours. This is why the 90 day challenges are so popular and interesting because ever day commitments may be the most powerful habit we can wield as touted by the many who've built large audiences.
5. Owning Your Audience. Building Your Tribe.
Knowing you exist the second you want someone to, works in reverse as well. Someone won't need your services and then they will. For them to know you exist the moment they discover their need, you're infinitely closer to that scenario if you've already established any type of a connection.
If you're currently catching posts on Facebook where people are complaining about their friends going dark because of FB algorithm changes, then you're witnessing how critical it is to owning your audience. Simply stated, any social media presence you have, get them to your website and do everything you can to getting their email address.
Consistent communication with good segmentation (a strong suit of email marketing) can make all the difference in your organization and bring you closer to the UDMS.
Structure can provide immediacy or at the very least hyper efficiencies. The hash tag is a great example at how immediate ideas can be found. How aggressive are you categorizing and tagging all of your communications? When you've done even just a surface level SEO study and then looked at how your organization aligns itself, you're building a lighting rod of contact opportunities with your audience. Don't leave it up to social media posts as the only time a tag is thought of. Go deep. Align. Rule.
There's also the structure of content capture. With today's technology, we can capture an infinite amount of hi-def content. Not too long ago, that wasn't even close to being true. It's why people are slow to adopt new practices of how content is captured, edited and produced. Most organizations barely touch this aspect but it's definitely on the path to the UDMS when you disrupt the way you capture your organization with more innovation around your structure.
When you look back at the first cell phone, or transistor, or the days before Uber or Airbnb, it's fascinating to imagine what it would have been like if someone from the future could show you what was coming.
Digital Marketing has already advanced so dramatically, how do we imagine something bigger? I think I've seen a glimpse and it's face-to-face digital marketing. In a time where we as a society are recognizing and alarmed by an addiction to digital, the time is ripe to zig when everyone is zagging.
When we've created digital marketing assets right in front of the client – removing all those phone calls, emails, wire-frames, approvals...and simply did it together, we've seen a more genuine and timeless digital artifact created which I propose is the wormhole into The Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategy.
Please share your thoughts. This is a highly imaginative dream trying to take hold of current practices we're working to pioneer. The bigger the ideas, the better our chances of creating the unimaginable.