Marketed.Live 2019: Go deep with your marketing

“You can have any colour, as long as it’s black.” This mass market approach has appealed to businesses for decades. Keep it simple, serve lots of people at the same time, and grow. Paul Ince, CEO of LikeMind Media, took to the stage at Marketed.Live 2019 with a different message: go deep.

BizPaul on stage at Marketed.Live 2019
BizPaul on stage at Marketed.Live 2019. Photo by Mr Ladd Photography

What does it mean to 'go deep' with your marketing?

At a time when we can talk to anybody online, through our websites, social media and email marketing, we often end up talking to nobody. You are reading this. Other people will be too. Do you feel as if I am writing to you? Telling you, personally, how to go deep with your own marketing, or that this is an article aimed at anyone and everyone?

Going deep means focusing on your customers as individuals. What do they want from you? How can you help them, specifically? Your customers don’t all drive black (or silver) cars. They don’t all want an estate or a sports car. Some of them might prefer a bicycle. How can you tailor your marketing – and customer service – to make it personalised?

Rather than trying to serve a community, which might not suit your business, focus on each person individually and create a relationship with them. You can create a deeper conversation which will benefit you both.

Here are four ways Paul suggests going deeper:

BizPaul's suggestions for 4 ways to go deep
BizPaul's suggestions for 4 ways to go deep. Photo: Mr Ladd Photography

1. Be selective

Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of marketing activities you have to do and the amount of messages you have to respond to? You’re on email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,  and LinkedIn. Perhaps you are trying to do video regularly because you’ve heard that’s the big thing at the moment. You need to create posts for all your different channels. You don’t just have to think of something to say but find time to create graphics too. Then there’s keeping up with constantly changing algorithms. Oh, and in between all that, you should be talking to people. It is called social media after all. Exhausted? Yes. And so is everyone else doing the same thing.

Paul’s number one tip is to be selective about the marketing methods you are using, and about what you respond to.

Do you really need to respond to everything you see online? We’ve replaced productivity with being busy. It’s easily done. There seem to be so many demands on our time. That constant ping of notifications, calling us to a new interaction, another thing to take in.

Paul kindly gave me a copy of Brian Solis’s Life Scale, one of three books he recommended at Marketed.Live, along with Talk by Elizabeth Stokoe and Deep Work by Cal Newport. Life Scale gives an eye-opening insight into the damage to our brains caused by our always-on digital lifestyles and attempts to do several things at once. If you’re wondering why it seems to take longer to get things done or make progress on your goals, read Life Scale. And turn notifications off on your phone.

Be selective about what actions you take and the platforms you are on. Think about how you are using your time and where you can have the most impact.

2. Go super personal

How do you respond to what people are sharing on social media? Do you hit ‘like’, or pop an emoji in the reply box? You’ve shown an interest in what that person has said but you’re not developing a relationship with them. Paul referred to likes as ‘drive-by engagement’. You’re scrolling, scrolling, something catches your eye or makes you laugh and you hit ‘like’, then scroll again.

What is this achieving?

Take the time to get to know people who you want to build a relationship with. Research their company. Read their articles or watch their videos and give your opinion on what they have shared. Reply to their emails. These are sent automatically but they are not automated communication. Someone has taken the time to sit down and write an email to you about something they think you are interested in hearing about. Have a conversation with them about it.

Respond and have deeper conversations with people who matter to you. By being selective and going super-personal you will build relationships.

A photo of Facebook like badges. Are you committing drive-by engagement?

3. No canned response

Do you follow brands who post the same response to everyone who contacts them? It’s a time-saver for that company but does it make the person they are responding to feel like they are valued? Does it make you feel as if that company is really going to be interested in you, if you were to buy from them? We see it most often with complaints, a time when a business needs to build a relationship with the complainant and others who might be watching.

“The first rule of customer service, if you want to do it well, is actually to acknowledge, to apologise, to explain what happens next,” Paul said. “If people feel part of a process, they don’t feel anything towards you. Take time to craft individual responses.”

4. Choose unscalable methods

Yikes! Unscalable methods? How are you going to grow a business, particularly if you are a solopreneur or a small business, if you can’t scale what you’re doing? Paul doesn’t mean don’t do something for one person that you can’t do for another. Unscalable methods involve taking time to do something a little special. Instead of mass marketing, where you send the same message to everyone regardless of who they are or their relationship with you, do something which shows you’re interested in them. Make the person you are contacting feel valued.

Going deep isn’t just about digital. It’s about how you market your business in general. You’re not looking for a quick win, a way to gain hundreds of followers, at once. People buy from people. Building relationships, where people get to know you and you know them, will help you make sales.

I’ve got my ticket for next year’s event already! Come and join me at MarketEd.Live 2020!

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Rachel Extance

Award-winning journalist and blogger. I help service-based business owners communicate who they are, what they do, and why. If you struggle to talk about yourself on your website or your content marketing, get in touch with me.

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4 Responses

  1. This is intuitive advice. It would be really useful to get feedback from you or others who read this blog on how this advice has helped them target customers more efficiently.
    – Which social media did people ditch or pick up and focus on because it gave them better exposure?
    – How did you manage to target business customers that you may not know, in order to make them feel special and pick you over a competitor?

    This article has really resonated with me.
    Thank you for sharing

  2. Thanks Rachel for writing an article with these tips for going deep. I found them really thought provoking.

    I wonder how much of the shallow practices are about productivity, playing the short game and having a sell (at you) mentality. Paul’s tips are all about playing the long game of building relationships and trust which really resonates with me. Business is all about relationships and as you say in your article, people buy from people.

    Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations. I’ll be adding these to my Books to Read tab of my bullet journal 😉

  3. Rachel on point! I really like this part-Going deep means focusing on your customers as individuals. What do they want from you. Why do you think it is hard for marketers to get this? As a customer you can begin to feel that you don’t really matter when you get canned responses. Thanks!

  4. This is a post where you demonstrated what you recommended. Well played! 🙂

    Your article made me want to slow down some of the ways I market and communicate. It takes more imagination and creativity to do online, but I also think it might help to think of how we treat people offline (when we’re being empathetic).

    I cringed a little as I realized I did one of those “connect with me” messages and then followed up with a “can we talk about my company selling you something now?” It’s not productive or effective.

    This is good, useful writing, Rachel! Thank you!

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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. The Story Cave Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.