We all need a business mentor, someone to guide us as we attempt to navigate the harrowing path of our career. Now if you ask most marketing professionals, you’ll hear names like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki or David Ogilvy (often called The Father of Advertising), to name a few.
But for me, that guiding light is none other than Michael Myers, the classic villain from John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, Halloween.
Okay, so he isn’t perfect. He wears a mask; he just so happens to be a serial killer and, of course, he’s a fictional character. But despite these traits, Michael has taught me valuable marketing lessons over the years. I hope these lessons will help you better understand the world of marketing on this fine Halloween day!
Michael Meyers is narrowly focused on one thing — getting his sister Laurie. You too should be narrowly focused on your marketing–be it by demographics, niche or a combination of the two. It seams counter-intuitive, but by reducing your market you will increase sales. That’s because your message can be razor sharp. You can speak specifically to the pains, needs, wants and desires of your audience–increasing your ROI and stretching your marketing dollar.
This doesn’t mean you’ve excluded people outside your focus. Even Michael manages to “get” a number of people outside his focus on his journey.
You mailed a postcard to 5,000 homes in your area and didn’t get a single lead, so you won’t be doing that again. Right?
Wrong! Michael never gives up. Even six bullets in the chest aren’t enough to get him to quit. He just tweaks his line of attack.
Too often remodelers tell me about a channel they’ll never use because it didn’t work one time. In fact, two weeks ago someone told me “I got 75 calls from the ad but every single one was unqualified.” My response,”The [publication] sounds like a good one to me, I think your message was wrong.”
The truth is there are too many variables to discredit the channel after one or two attempts. Marketing is not a series of isolated events. It is an ongoing process that requires commitment. Stay the course and tweak your line of attack.
Michael never says a word. He listens and observes. And he’s always able to find his sister, no matter where she goes into hiding.
Listen to what people are saying about your company and about your competitors. You can keep your company image clean by responding to poor comments and thanking people for praise. You can also find weaknesses in your competition and strike at their Achilles Heel. Social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook are a great place to keep tabs.
Marketing can be overwhelming to say the least. There are many obstacles to knock down your enthusiasm and when you engage in campaigns (like email marketing) that can yield less than a 1% response rate, it’s easy to want to just throw in the towel. But whatever the reason for your funk, be it a financial setback, laziness or whatever, just remember Michael. He always gets back up.
Did you ever notice Michael never runs after anyone? He walks slow and steady while the people he chases run around frantically. Yet he always manages to keep up. Don’t rush your marketing efforts. Effective campaigns take time. If you consistently send messages that are focused on only generating “leads for today”, you will never get ahead of the competition. As I said before, marketing is a process. It takes patience and dedication. Walk slow and steady and you will not only keep up with the competition, you’ll surpass them.
When Michael’s in town, everyone knows it — and they won’t soon forget. Whether you are sending a newsletter or working a trade show, be memorable. Give your prospects an experience they won’t forget. Your company has a story. Make sure that story has to be retold.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2013, and has been updated. Happy Halloween!
image courtesy of Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com