I registered for all my college marketing classes with great enthusiasm as I was dreaming of becoming a marketer some day. I learned a lot, but my enthusiasm often disappeared as the semester unfolded. Why?
In my experience there were two kinds of marketing instructors. First, marketing researchers who had not left the building for about 10 years and seemed to live in the past. They liked to talk about 4 or 5 Ps of marketing, gave me a solid foundation in marketing vocabulary as well as taught me how to analyze case studies. Secondly, corporate refugees who gained their knowledge of marketing working for big Fortune 100 or 500 companies. They had real life experiences and often times knew how to push products and services to the masses. They were well respected by the rest of the faculty for that.
I lost my enthusiasm in my marketing studies by mid semester with both types of instructors as I did not learn how to brand and market small business products and services. I was not interested in stories about big companies with huge advertising budgets.
Of course they were able to buy attention from consumers. In addition, I saw creative individuals getting below average grades in class as they did not do well at multiple choice tests.
Then I heard of Seth Godin and felt relieved. He announced that the “TV- Industrial Complex” that had lasted a half century, was broken and It was OK to be bored with traditional advertising and push marketing. It wasn’t just me.
The main idea in Seth Godin’s book “Purple Cow” is mastering the art of becoming remarkable as the New Era of marketing is NOW. Remarkable ideas that spread, win. Remarkable companies, that stand out, win.
Tips on turning your idea/product into a Purple Cow:
– Is your product/service more boring than salt? Come up with 10 ways to change it.
– Think small. Think of the smallest conceivable market, and describe a product that overwhelms it with its remarkability. Go from there.
– Outsource, if necessary.
– Build and use a permission asset. Once you have the ability to talk directly to your most loyal customers, it gets easier to develop and sell amazing things.
– Copy. Not from your industry, but from another industry. Find out what they do remarkably well and copy.
– Identify a competitor who is generally regarded at the edges, and outdo them.
– Find things that are “just not done” in your industry and do them.
– Ask “Why not?”
Seth Godin is definitely a Purple Cow amongst marketers as he is not afraid to do anything mentioned above.