Lessons to help score a marketing bullseye

Why is it that celebrity deaths always come in threes? 

Ken Dodd, Jim Bowen and Stephen Hawking devastatingly demonstrated this point all too convincingly last week. 

So, in an effort to inspire and educate – whilst acknowledging the legacy these three gentlemen will leave for different reasons – I’ve compiled a list of marketing lessons; beautifully (or tenuously as it may seem) linked to what they were best known for…

Lesson one from Ken Dodd 

The last standing true vaudevillian, Ken Dodd was well known for his comic genius. He had a gag for every occasion; always looking to try out more. He had notebooks filled with jokes and all of their minute details; how the jokes were received, how loudly people laughed, how long they laughed for. Despite his off-the-cuff style, there was nothing improvised about his routines. It was merely his style and, to keep it consistently funny, it needed to be planned with military precision. 

You see, success and an iconic status rarely come from an accidental occasion and a ‘lucky break’. It comes from mastering a skill – devoting time, energy and attention to it – understanding what works and what doesn’t and learning from both the belly-aching-highs and the stony-silence-lows. 

Marketing is no different. Thrown together, sporadic and ad hoc approaches rarely work. Or if they do – they rarely stand the test of time. 

Lesson two from Jim Bowen 

Another cherished comedian from yester-year, Jim Bowen, formally a teacher who did a bit of stand-up comedy on the side, was inspired to take up the profession full time after he saw the previously acknowledged Ken Dodd perform to an audience of 3,500 in Blackpool. 

But apart from his reputation as a comedian, appearances on Last of the Summer Wine, Jonathan Creek and Phoenix Nights to name a few, Jim Bowen was known for one programme above all else – the iconic show of the 1980s and 1990s – Bullseye. 

Apart from the animated mascot named Bully, the show was known for its darts theme. Contestants were pitted against each other to answer questions and throw darts; hopefully accurately with the end goal being to win fantastic prizes. 

Cue tenuous link number two… 

In this day and age, it’s easy to become distracted by the plethora of marketing activities you can undertake. Words like engagement are important, but only promise as many sales as awareness did before we were overrun with content and digital platforms. The fact is that – regardless of how many channels you could use to promote your wares – the reality is that you should only be focusing on those that are most likely to give you the desired result; more sales.  And to do that – you need to aim for the bullseye. 

You need to answer one simple question… who is my target market? 

Don’t be side tracked by market niches – think about who really is going to part with their hard-earned cash. 

Who is the real decision maker in this process? Before you’re faced with a sad case of “Look at what you could have won…” make sure your marketing plan encompasses all buyers in the decision-making process. 

Lesson three from Stephen Hawking… 

He was a genius. An undeniable genius. Despite leaving a legacy as one of the world’s greatest physicists, he is also known for fighting and thriving in the face of severe physical adversity. In fact, that instantly recognisable retro-robotic voice is probably more widely known than how he brought together several different, but equally fundamental, fields of physical theory including gravitation, cosmology, quantum theory, thermodynamics and information theory. 

He didn’t discover black holes. He didn’t discover the big bang. However, his work into these areas – among many, many more – has made a significant impact on the scientific world. 

The lesson to be had here… Hawking was not blinkered by individual theories. He considered how different theories impacted on each other. 

Marketing is an ever-evolving discipline. Impacted at every angle – from technology to cultural evolutions, changing buyer behaviour and increasing costs – marketers decades over have looked for the magic solution. That silver bullet. 

But marketing is not a one size fits all solution. Real success in marketing comes from understanding how different plans, activities and tactics impact on – and enhance – each other.  To be able to do that, you need to have a breadth of understanding; not a practical understanding of how an individual item works in isolation. 

Successful marketing plans are strategically planned, well understood and thoroughly tested… it’s more of a science than is often given credit for. 

Need some help getting your marketing plans up to scratch? We’re more than happy to help. Our marketing workshop can be a great way to set your plans, define your audience and determine the best activities to help you achieve your desired results.