7 Marketing Lessons Big Business Can Teach Entrepreneurs

Marketing

As with anything in life, we must learn from those who have gone before us, to understand what lies ahead and dodge potential pitfalls.

Even the most skilled entrepreneur needs to rely on more than luck to succeed. Many entrepreneurs will look to the knowledge and advice of successful people that have been there and done it.

Achieving prosperity in business comes down to just one thing: how well a company can market their product or service, and there are plenty of examples of big business showing us what works effectively.

When you think about Richard Branson or Bill Gates, you immediately think of huge business tycoons with more money than they’ll ever need. However, the thing you should remember is that they were once in the position that you find yourself in today, and by understanding the marketing lessons they (and their peers) have tried and tested, there’s no reason you can’t achieve the same levels of success.

In this blog, we’re going to cover seven of those marketing lessons so you can decide how they might work for you.

#1: Delegate Content Creation

Big companies spend millions creating new content, which equates to some serious man hours.

But, there’s a very good reason for this: content creation encourages brand visibility, communicates values and can generate new leads and drive conversion when done right.

According to a recent statistic piece, placing such an emphasis on online content is precisely the right thing to do, since 80% of consumers enjoy learning about a business through consumable content.

Which explains why businesses are so invested in creating online content:

Inbound marketing project(Image Source: Hubspot)

For most companies operating online, the potency of online content won’t be a surprise, but the focus of this point refers more to how online content is being created.

Startup founders are very much in the habit of undertaking everything for themselves and find it difficult not to micromanage every detail, including content creation. Here’s the kicker: if you want your business to grow and increase profitability, you need to put yourself in the right positions to help the company do just that and learn to delegate. If you have someone in your organisation with more time and more skill, they’re the ones that need to be creating content.

Businesses are increasingly beginning to realise the benefits of staff writers and content specialists to shoulder the burden of content creation:

(Image Source: Hubspot)

As you can see, executives are spending less and less time working on content when compared to their employees, which leaves them more time to spend on driving growth and business development.

Big businesses realise the benefits of streamlining their processes, as it allows everyone to focus on what they’re good at.

#2: Drive Brand Visibility on Social Media

There is one simple rule when it comes to gaining visibility: if you create content that gets people talking, you’ll have more eyes on your brand.

Irish betting company Paddy Power is an excellent example of a company using social media to drive brand visibility (although not always for the right reasons).

Their brand strategy is to post engaging, humorous and often controversial content on social media:

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Paddy Power’s Twitter strategy serves as a great example of how to create a bold presence on social that gets people talking.

However, that’s not to say that you should create provocative content to engage followers, but rather an authentic persona. This is precisely what Paddy Power does, and it works, because they understand what their audience wants and know precisely how to play up to any negative buzz:

(Above Three Image Source – Clickz)

Entertaining, engaging and above all, authentic, content is the right way to create brand visibility on social media. Power Paddy has been able to capture this, and at the time of writing, they have 651,900 followers and receive hundreds of retweets and likes with every post.

#3: Create Engaging Video Content

(Image Source: unsplash )

We all know how important video is; they are easier to make than ever before, and they can grab attention in a way that few other mediums can.

Having said that, anyone can make a video and upload it, but the real trick is to formulate something that can inform consumer buying habits and ultimately sway purchasing decisions. According to bluecorona.com, it’s thought that 50% of consumers will search for visual media relating to a product before they spend their money on it, and 79% of internet users prefer watching a video to reading content.

What this means for your business, is that if you aren’t creating videos, you could be unintentionally sending your customers into the warming embrace of a competitor with a better video strategy.

Businesses are now so aware of the influence of video content; they would prioritize it above all other kinds of content:

(Image Source: Buffer )

Video is an engaging and visual form of media, and it’s because of this that it’s so effective.
The real trick is to create something that informs your audience, with the ultimate goal of increasing traffic and conversions.

A few years back, Google introduced their new logo and a new parent company, ‘Alphabet’. It was an ideal opportunity for the company to look back at its products and services over the years. The following video shows how much Google has evolved and impacted the world around them:

(Video Source: Youtube)

The simple brilliance of this video is that it turns its lens to others to tell their story. Google focuses on its users, media and leaders to promote their products, which results in more of a historical piece, rather than a simple advert, that resonates with its consumers.

#4: Create a Narrative

We’ve been telling stories for thousands of years, and with good reason. A good anecdote has the power to make us cry, laugh and think and feel a whole range of emotion. And that’s what good products and successful brands do.

There’s a story behind absolutely everything, even your drive to work has a backstory (even if it isn’t especially exciting). Telling the story behind your company and the products and services it offers involves your customers and shows them why something came to be.

The ‘why’ is always more interesting than the what, where and how.

Take this example from Nike – who understood how important it was to grasp the power of storytelling and turn it into an effective business strategy. In 1999, Nike commemorated the unparalleled career of basketball legend Michael Jordan:

(Video Source: Youtube)

Even though this is a Nike ad, there’s no mention of any products or branding until the closing stages of the advert, when the logo and slogan appears.

These days, ads like this are quite commonplace, but twenty years ago, this was game-changing in the way that it set the tone for how brands market themselves using narratives.

Nike knew there was a time and a place to push products, but more than that, they knew that selling products meant creating an impression that resonates and connects with consumers over the long-term.

(Video Source: Youtube)

Everything that Nike does includes a backstory, and their reputation as one of the great brand storytellers of the modern era is well-founded.

The 2019 ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign, continues these themes.

#5: The Power of Coming Together

(Image Source:Pinterest)

Ask fifty people, ‘why do you buy a product?’ and the chances are you’ll receive many different answers.

However, more often than not, you’ll find that the most common reason is that someone is in the habit of buying from a specific company.

By harnessing the power of bringing people together, you can inspire brand loyalty through a community that keeps bringing customers back again and again.

Motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson offers top of the range vehicles and accessories, but it’s their Harley Owners Group community we’re focusing on in this point.

(Image Source: Shutterstock )

Harley-Davidson understood the commercial benefit of creating a community, even as far back as the 1980s, which has helped created a fiercely loyal following of motorcycle enthusiasts.

This community looks to positively impact their local areas where they live, work and ride. The Harley-Davidson Foundation also encourages dealers, employees and even customers to support causes and charities to change the world around them.

If you were part of such a tight-knit group, would you even think about buying a motorcycle or any accessories from any other brand? Certainly not, and in many cases, you’ll find that serious brand loyalists will go out of their way to remain loyal to the brand.
That’s what can happen when you can bring people together.

#6: Don’t Be Afraid to Cross the Line Once in a While

(Image Source: Pixabay)

Whatever kind of marketing you do, it’s very easy to slip into the “that’ll do” attitude, and when this happens, your marketing becomes stale and unappealing (this can also seep into other areas of your business).

While things like Facebook ads, emails and SEO are critically important for marketing success, thinking outside the box could make all the difference, after all the cost of getting it wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing at all.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean you have to make things complicated; even doing something simple can help you make a splash.
Just take a look at this video from Dollar Shave Club:

(Video Source: Youtube)

Only a year after this ad was uploaded to YouTube, it had achieved 4.75 million views and countless shares on social platforms.

But why did it work so well? Simple – it’s different.

There’s nothing overly complicated about it; it’s not a medium that has never been used before. Having said that, even long after you’ve seen it, it sticks in the memory due to it’s humour and irreverence.

Other companies have attempted similar videos since, but that initial humour got the company out there because founder Michael Dubin took a chance to make something a little different.

When you step over the line to leave your comfort zone, you have a greater chance of making something that really excites you, and that excitement and passion will resonate with your customers.

#7: Run Giveaways

The idea of providing free gifts will often prevent business owners from running giveaways; after all, you’re trying to sell products, not give them away.

However, running competitions can be a super effective way to generate further sales, perfectly realised by the cleaning brand O-Cedar.

Understanding the value of creating a niche giveaway for visibility, O-Cedar ran a competition where entrants had the chance to win a high-quality mop each day the competition ran.

This just goes to show how something quite simple, can appeal to a specific demographic and achieve significant exposure.

The easiest thing to do is give away cash prizes, but if you do this, you’ll end up interesting those that have no investment in your brand, and when this happens, you don’t keep them engaged for very long.

Whatever your competition is about, human beings love competition, and if you can create a scenario in which they can compete for niche products, you’ll stir up plenty of interest.
In O-Cedar’s case, giving away simple prizes for a maximum price of $50, resulting in:

  • 24,400 entries
  • A 45.69% conversion rate
  • 11,200 new email addresses

Conclusions

Even if you’re a long-term entrepreneur or a new startup founder, there are always lessons to learn from those who have been there and done it.

You can learn from both people’s mistakes and their successes, when it comes to marketing your brand, so long as you’re open to taking advice to heart.

Author Bio:

Richard LeCount is a branding and marketing expert and the managing director of usbmakers.com