Just about everyone likes the idea of being an entrepreneur, in theory.
Usually, the entrepreneurial lifestyle summons up highly encouraging mental images of people wearing well-tailored professional outfits every day, riding around in sports cars, and not having to take orders from anyone.
It’s easy to see why that ideal is something of a dream to many people who are fed up with their day jobs, and who aspire to being more directly in control of their destinies, and more “in the driver’s seat” in general.
Being an entrepreneur certainly can allow you to make your fortune, become much more autonomous, and experience a lot of the other related benefits that are often held up and celebrated in the public consciousness.
But, entrepreneurship can also be a very difficult path to walk, with no guarantee of success, where it’s always essential to stay “on top of your game” and to reach out and market effectively at every turn.
The art of marketing is, of course, at the heart of any degree of success anyone could expect to achieve, regardless of their industry. So, here are a few good principles of effective marketing to take to heart, that might make all the difference on your entrepreneurial journey.
Stand Out and Grab Attention as Quickly as Possible
First things first – the world today is totally inundated with all sorts of different marketing materials, from every imaginable angle.
When people drive to work, they will pass billboards on the side of the road advertising things to them. If they turn on the radios in their cars, they are likely to hear a few more adverts, this time presented in an audio format. Then there are the ads they will encounter on the Internet, on TV, at the cinema, and more.
In such a highly crowded advertising landscape, one of the most important marketing principles for anyone to observe is always going to be to stand out as much as possible, and to grab attention as quickly as possible.
A look at some of the best content marketing examples of recent times will show that the campaigns that have been the most effective have always been those which have managed to make a strong impression in a hurry.
Focus on Conveying Benefits Rather Than Emphasising Features
One mistake that people frequently make in their approach to marketing – especially if they are new entrepreneurs – is to bombard their prospective customers with an enormous wealth of information about the specific features of a given product or service.
In fact, however, prospective customers don’t really care about “features,” other than in reference to how those features can help them to overcome particular problems they may be experiencing, or can otherwise benefit them on a personal or professional level.
Good marketing always emphasises benefits first and foremost, and only refers to features for reference, and in order to support and highlight those benefits.
In order to identify the specific benefits that a customer or client might be excited by, you have to get a sense of the sort of challenges they are likely experiencing – and should then describe how your product or service can help them to overcome those challenges.
Understand the Importance of Narrative and of Compelling Storylines
As many psychologists have argued, human beings are essentially “narrative” creatures, much more than we are “rational” creatures.
In other words, people are always on the lookout for compelling storylines and narrative explanations for things in their lives and in their immediate environments, and this narrative appeal is so strong that it can even become a distorting cognitive bias, when people are trying to deal with more analytical questions.
In the context of marketing, it’s important to understand that people are frequently looking for compelling storylines that they can slot into. So, use advertising to create an image or template that will be appealing to people on an emotional level, and that will address their deeper needs and interests.
Strive to Be Memorable… Even More Than Convincing
Many branding and marketing motifs have become ubiquitous in the public consciousness, not because of “convincing pitches,” but purely because the images employed were, themselves, memorable.
If you hear the words “Energizer Bunny,” there’s a good chance that a pre-formed image pops up into your mind, unbidden – and this has nothing to do with the relative merits of the Energizer brand.
It’s important to try and be convincing in your marketing campaigns, but it’s even more important to strive to be memorable and to create campaigns and motifs that will stick in people’s subconscious minds for a prolonged period of time.