Closing Keynote: Chris Brogan, Best-Selling Author | Winning in the Choose Your Own Adventure Economy
Chris Brogan | Author, Journalist & Business Advisor
We used to try to sell to everyone, but times have changed. Finding the specific people we can best serve now outweighs the intent to reach the masses, but that means we must build even deeper connections, and do more with them. How have technological shifts empowered more selective marketing, selective selling, and frictionless buying? What can you do to take advantage of these trends? What will your business do to breathe life and purpose into all these new digital technologies so that you’re building business and not just bleating into the void?
Winning in Choosing Your Own Adventure Economy
Chris is engaging, well known speaker and he again proves his reputation at ISUM15. To se the tone, he wants us to think about the ways we engage or more often do not engage with people around us as we are glued to our smartphone screens. Recently, he talked to a taxi driver that complained that no one talks to him any more! The other person used to be soccer coach and had rough last year when kids told him that he sucks. Because of that, he changed teams, and at the end of that experience, he received a cake and party because he truly cared that kids have good experience, not necessarily win at all costs. Personal interactions today are degrading; so is marketing and advertising.
Marketing and Advertising is so broken today
Marketing managers are not talking to their customers in person as much as they used to. The focus is on push marketing. If a person does not click the button in their email, web site or social media, we send them even more messages; if they don’t open email, send them more. One day we will be able to use Minority Report like screens and look even more stupid than wearing Google Glass.
IMPACT = C * (R + E + A + T + E)
To stand out from the noise and have your message reach the intending audience, Chris has created a simple framework, an impact equation, IMPACT = C * (R + E + A + T + E). C represents being seen; R, whom you connect to; E, how often you connect; A, being understood instantly; T, why we trust someone; and E, the feeling of connection conveyed to our audience. This impact equation is the basis for his book, The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?
- Contrast, how to be seen? Being different from your competitors is very important to stand out. To demonstrate his point, he shows several University web sites main pages. Most of them look the same as they show multiracial kids smiling, sitting on the lawn in front of the library and looking at books. It’s almost always the first web page and it doesn’t differentiate your college from other. Because marketing agencies are not keeping up with the change, and now showcasing unique flavor of their clients, the clients themselves do not stay with agency for longer than two years, which is frustrating for both clients and agencies.
- Reach. How far can you send your message around? In its rawest form, the reach is about the size of your list or RSS feed, or your number of followers. The bigger the number is, the better. However, marketing managers should always look for ways to extend their reach and they can do that by latching on the current events. For example, if you are Star Wars minded marketeer, you can even reach makeup, dark/white Loreal makeup! Everything!
- Exposure. How often do people see your message? If you are not very relevant, people will ignore it.
- Articulation is about being understood instantly. Most people lose here because they look for funny and snappy and miss the target. Don’t try to be funny all the time, because it’s hard anyway. Be very clear in your message that is easy to understand. Steve Jobs didn’t talk about 1MB capacity for iPod but of 1000 songs that can fit on the music player and that’s the type of language that people understand. Another examples is for Nike zero running shoes, targeted for people that want lean, natural feel to the foot, bare style.
- Trust. Do people believe you? It’s amazing to me to see business that don’t put photos of their employees on the web site, but generic stock photo of multiracial people. Put your people on the web page, they run your business. Smile is something we relate to from birth, so put smiling employees on your web, real live humans.
- Echo. do people see themselves in you? Do we see what we are looking for in you? Echo is all about the feeling of connection you give your reader, visitor, participant.
Business is about belonging
In the world where we can buy from anyone, why buy from you? Carpet-bombing people with links to the content others wrote is not an engagement.
Chris advises Marketing Service Agencies to connect specifically to their target audience and then clearly explain who do you serve, how and why? Do not be full a stack digital marketing agency because everyone says exactly the same thing all the time. Sell your services to the right 1,000 people. Find the right people to serve, not all people to serve.
Your buyer has a decision fatigue, they don’t want to spend so much time deciding what to buy. Make it easy and quick for them. Brevity matters — use short email with fewer links, give them fewer options, simple language, don’t raise barrier to purchasing. Connected. People want to belong. FaceBook groups are the new FB pages. Put a group that is useful with few moderators, invite relevant people to join and don’t use generic # that don’t have a specific meaning.
People don’t want a lot of options, if any, simple talk sells, know who you serve, cut, chop, simplify, stop doing. More is your enemy. Also, new is your enemy. How many times did you look to try new system because the old one didn’t work out.
For small businesses, Chris uses an example of a chiropractor. For this type of business, people want to know your hours, rates, how often do you want to to see clients, so the cost over time, what will you do to me? Show simple video of an adjustment so people can see what it is. It does not have to be complicated.
- Fight buyers’ fatigue by clearly articulating the value of your service or a product
- Brevity matters, keep information succinct, relevant and simple
- People want to belong to a group and feel a personal connection with a business, small business or large enterprises