Unique Solutions to the 'Marketing Problem'

29 Perspectives on Getting Marketing Right
Brett Friedman

Marketing is a hard problem. Much like the stock market, there's a lot of chance, volatility, and data pointed at the same goal: growth. Also like finance, marketing can take a lot of money to figure out. I've discussed the difficulties of marketing with low resources before, so now let's turn to some solutions.

You already have our answer to the problem- it's multivariate testing your ad creative. But to offer you something you likely haven't tried already, we gathered specific strategies from 29 marketers, boiled them down into categories, and highlighted a few rare, but effective techniques to help you build your audience quickly.

In short, there are:

Growth Strategies: the category of method used to grow a company
Strategy Components:
the pieces that make up any every good strategy
Channels of Delivery:
the places where strategies are implemented

Growth Strategies:

13 Strategies Ordered by Frequency of Mention

Strategy Components:

  • Unique: Use anything that makes your brand stand out from the crowd and share your expertise on it.
  • Honest: Tell the truth, plain and simple. Authentic communication is a second option to standing out from the crowd too.
  • Storied: A good story educates and entertains at the same time. Tell the story of your company, your product, your life in an entertaining way.
  • Emotional: Connect with your audience. Emotion drives value which drives engagement which drives purchase. Find universal themes to relate to your customers.
  • Helpful: Be genuinely helpful to your audience. Before profit, provide value. Do everything you can to solve your audience' problems.
  • Relevant: Give your audience what they actually care about most when interacting with your brand. Stay on your topic.
  • Evergreen: Make something so good it brings results for years. For a deeper analysis, see our evergreen article on evergreen content.

Channels of Delivery:

  • Forums: Slack Communities, Industry-Relevant Websites
  • Social Media: Quora, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, etc.
  • Marketplaces: Ebay, Amazon, Etsy
  • Virtual Communications: Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
  • Newsletters: LetterWell
  • Podcasts: Podcast Insights Directory

Across answers, there were 5 themes that stood out.

Core Messages:

  • Value : Pack your marketing efforts full of solutions for your audience.
  • Channel: Choose the channel that your audience uses the most. If there is none, start your own.
  • Leverage: Use channels from others who have a larger audience than yours.
  • Audience: Know who your audience is, what their true needs are, and how to use their language to communicate your solution to them.
  • Service: Know what makes your product or service better than others in your industry.

That's a quick look at the high level aspects of a successful marketing program. Let's look closer at some unique, coordinated strategies from a few major categories.

Advertising

Andrew Helling, Editor at REthority, a leading real estate content publisher uses ads in combination with social media to increase his organic traffic.

Since fewer people are running ads right now, Andrew finds it cheaper than ever to pay for search engine clicks and promote Facebook posts. Andrew went from "went from no followers to just under 1,200 in under a week for an average of $.65 per like." The additional followers helped him increase organic traffic 46%.

Most marketers focus exclusively on getting purchases from their ads, but you can get healthy returns from growing a following first. Andrew uses the advertising channel in a unique way, packing his content full of value.

SEO

Joseph Pineiro, SEO Manager at 360 Training, releases surveys to all of his email subscribers. Because of the unique data he sources and publishes, it earns him dozens of backlinks while providing information that is useful to his audience.

Though Joseph focuses on regulatory training, every industry has unanswered questions that people want to know bad enough to give you information. Think about what your audience wants to know most, then ask them. This is a unique way to create value that also allows you to learn about your audience, making it an extra effective strategy.

Social Media

Iain Miller, Founder of Unique Ascent uses what he calls "uber niche marketing" to drive traffic to his site. Iain finds rocks that have never been climbed before and records his trek, converting his journey into advisory PDFs for website visitors. He then uses social media, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to promote his new climb location with content attached. He notes the key is that he updates each PDF frequently to earn repeat downloaders.

While rock climbing is a small niche, any product or service can benefit by finding something only they can discover, then offering maps of those new worlds for free. This is a strategy that makes your service one of a kind, requires knowing your audience, and creates new value.

Viral Content

Mike Kawula, Founder of Help a Teen, says, "One of the fastest ways to grow a business is by creating a viral growth
component at each touch point." He describes three touch points:

  1. Traffic Acquisition: "How can you get new traffic to tell other people about your business or
    service?"
  2. Traffic Activation: "How can you get that email address to become 2, 4, 8, 16 email addresses?"
  3. Customer Journey: "How can you get that first customer to bring a friend and for that friend
    to bring 3 friends?"

By asking these questions about each point in your sales funnel, you can find ways to develop an explosive viral strategy from top to bottom. Mike's strategy is about knowing your audience and adapting your channels to promote growth at every step to conversion.

Strategic Partnerships

Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual says you can find multiple verticals with matching audiences to create a win-win-win scenario. "[Your partner's] clients win because you offer a valuable product or service to them, and the business owner benefits via additional revenue due to the partnership. Plus, our partners strengthen their relationships with their customers by ensuring their other needs are met." You and the business owner both better meet the needs of your customers while earning additional revenue.

You can find partners by figuring out who else provides to your audience. Then reach out by calling their company mainline or emailing them directly. Anthony's strategy hits almost all is a combination of leveraging other peoples' networks, having an excellent service, providing additional value, and really knowing who your audience is and what they want most.

Influencer Marketing

Rameez Ghayas Usmani, Digital Marketing Executive at PureVPN uses combines TikTok influencers with competitions to increase brand engagement and purchases. He asks an influencer to share a positive review of his product then ask their audience to review it as well. Each reviewer is entered into a lottery to meet the influencer.

There are influencers in every industry. Find someone relevant to your audience and hold a competition to meet them. Though Rameez used TikTok, other social media platforms will work too. Influencer marketing is a combination of knowing your audience, leveraging someone else's, and providing value.

Podcasting

Leslie Bradford-Scott, Chief Squirrel Chaser at Walton Wood Farm started a podcast detailing "her unusual life story" called Rewriting Dad. Through the podcast, Leslie "turned her life experiences into themes for product collections she felt would resonate with other people. Born were “Week from Hell” and “Winter’s a B*tch” themed personal care products as well as other life themes, proving ultimately more effective than yet another label of 'Lavender.'"

By focusing on emotional connection and uniqueness, Leslie's brand stood out in a crowded industry and increased sales significantly.

On the other side of the microphone, Matt Barnett and Oli Bridges, CEO and CMO of Bonjoro, appeared in nearly 100 podcasts in 2020. Casey hill, Head of Growth, says, "The beauty of podcasts is that they are free and if you find the right fits, it is a mutually beneficial way to give both parties exposure. Just like with any type of relationship the key is a give and take. If you only hop on podcasts with the intent to promote your product, and after the show is over you leave all the promotion of the episode to the host... You are unlikely to get much traction. If, on the other hand, instead you try and create actionable tips that are system agnostic, and you aggressively promote and put ad dollars behind the people you work with, then you will build real relationships and those relationships will carry you far."

Podcasting is still in its early stages and there's a lot of room to grow your company. If you have a unique story to tell, launch your own audio journey. If you have a great product or service, find a host with a similar audience and talk to them about your hustle. From both sides together, podcasting hits all 5 core messages.

Customer Research

Angela Sun, Director of Marketing for Hull, says, "Our number one strategy for growth is not a specific tool, technology, nor tactic, but a principle, and that is to listen to our customers, to the market, and to what the data is telling us." She continues, with some specific tactics:

  • Profile the companies and customers you've successfully sold
  • Make word clouds to find language used by your customers to speak on their level
  • Connect with leaders in your space who are similar to your core customers, learn how they communicate, and join the conversation through Slack communities and LinkedIn

Customer research is about knowing your audience and your product and their fit so well, that you maximize value for both parties. It is the strategy central to all sales and marketing and if you're going to start anywhere, it should be here.

Conclusion

Listed above are eight rare, but effective strategies.

For more context, we responses came from many industries:

  • E-Commerce
  • Marketing
  • Software
  • Media
  • Education
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Tourism

But whether or not your niche is among these categories, doesn't mean these strategies do not apply for you. Any strategy above can be morphed into something relevant to your company and your audience if you can twist it in the right way. The key is staying grounded in your core: provide value, use the right channels, leverage influencers, know your audience, and most of all know yourself.

See below for all 29 answers in full.

How to Run a Multivariate Test

The Beginner's Guide

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How to Run a Multivariate Test
The Beginner's Guide

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