Drew McLellan’s a 25+ year marketing agency veteran who lives for creating “a ha” moments for his clients, clients’ customers, peers and audiences across the land. Sadly, for his daughter, he attempts to do the same thing at home.
Over the years, Drew has lent his expertise to clients like Nabisco, IAMS pet foods, Kraft Foods, Meredith Publishing, Make-A-Wish, and others.
Drew is also one of the world’s top marketing and branding bloggers.
Recently he has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Week and Fortune’s Small Business. The Wall Street Journal calls him one of 10 bloggers that every entrepreneur should read.
Mack Collier has hit a home run with his book Think Like A Rock Star* and I really want all of you to get his message.
As consumers get more jaded by traditional advertising and marketing that interrupts rather than connects - this book serves up the answer.
Why not be so good, create so much goodwill and treat your best customers like the super stars they are - all so you can unleash the word of mouth power of those best customers? We know that there's nothing more influential than word of mouth and that an endorsement from a trusted friend/source absolutely influences buying decisions. So who wouldn't want more of that for their business?
Author Mack Collier has studied how some of the world's best entertainers have inspired their fans to help grow their fan base, sell concert tickets and CDs/downloads and in general - create buzz that elevates the star's status and earning potential.
One of the reasons this is such a smart read is because it puts the marketing emphasis where it belongs - on existing customers (and even more so.... super engaged existing customers) rather than chasing prospects. Mack outlines many ways that rock stars connect with their fans, show their genuine gratitude and appreciation to their fans and inviting those fans to be their biggest advocates and evangelists.
You'll get all kinds of ideas of how you can make your business a rock star too. Your best customers will be as ready to give you a standing ovation as the examples in the book. One of the features of the book you'll find incredibly valuable is the Backstage Passes. These informational call out boxes give you very specific ways you can apply the examples to your own business. Like a little recipe card - they'll guide you step by step.
I highly recommend this book (click to buy on Amazon*)and the concepts in it. Mack models his theories well - read the book and become one of his fans!
I was recently contacted by a college student who asked if he could interview me for one of this classes. One of the questions he asked is one I get a lot, so I thought I'd share my answer with you here.
If you aspire to be in our business - I hope it helps. If you're already in the business - what did I miss?
What advice would you give to anyone who was aspiring to enter the field of advertising?
Yikes... there are lots of things to know but here are some of the biggies.
When I hire, I don't worry too much about the degree the person has or things like grade point averages. I can teach them about marketing but I can't make them honest or hard working.
I look for people who have a passion for helping other people. I hire people who volunteer their time, have a passion for a cause and instead of whining about it - do something about it.
I definitely want good writers, no matter what position they might fill. In today's business world, with email etc. - everyone needs to be able to communicate clearly and be well spoken, both in face-to-face encounters and in writing.
I also look for someone who gets that our business is not 9-5 and isn't going to freak out if they have to work late or over a weekend. Our business is very demanding and depending on what's going on with our clients, we can put in some incredibly long, grueling weeks.
I also want someone who is willing to do "grunt" work. In a small agency, everyone pitches in and does what it takes to get the job done. If I can stuff envelopes or whatever - so can they.
I want someone who is a self-starter, a lifelong learner, a reader, someone who is funny, ethical and someone who resonates with our company's core beliefs, which are:
When you're creating any sort of communication aimed at a potential buyer, you want them to do what?
When I ask this question, I typically hear a range of answers like:
• Know more about our business
• Understand how we're better than our competitors
• Wonder if we're the right fit for them
And of course....
• Buy what we sell!
All of that is probably true. But it's too complicated. No matter how or where we're communicating with a prospect, what we should want them to do is... take the next step.
Your job is simply moving your prospect to the next step.
That next step might be downloading an ebook, filling out the bounce back postcard to get a no obligation quote, emailing us with questions, signing up for a workshop, clicking on the buy now button or picking up the phone to schedule a meeting.
The answer is...we want them to take the next step in the sales cycle, whatever that may be. You want the reader (or listener or viewer) to do something to escalate the conversation. At that moment - you are talking to them. You want them to talk back somehow. And your copy should tell them exactly what to do.
I can hear you now... "I don't have to tell them to call me. They're not stupid. They know it's an ad." Very true. They're not stupid. But they are incredibly busy, fragmented and they're probably doing three other things while they flip through that magazine that houses your ad or click to the page on your website that has your workshops on it.
A call to action isn't a remedy for stupid; it's a remedy for their attention deficit. Its purpose is to get them to step out of a passive role and take a more active one. Because you have about 2 seconds before they change the channel, turn the page or click on the clapping monkey animated GIF that will take them away from your offer.
How do you write copy that captures their attention for that millisecond so they'll take action?
Be very specific and direct: You need to spell it out for them and it needs to be simple. Click here to sign up or call XXX-XXXX to schedule an appointment. This isn't the place to be cute or vague. You don't even have to be polite and add a "please: or "thank you." Just give them simple instructions that leave no room for doubt.
Focus on the benefit: Remember, you are trying to stop a moving train. They're halfway to that next click or page turn. To get them to stop that momentum and move in a different direction will take something pretty compelling. Remember that we're all motivated by the "what's in it for me" equation so don't be shy about telling them how they will benefit.
Keep it simple: If what you ask them to do is complicated, requires multiple steps, has complex directions or asks for too much information, - they will just move on. How many times have you started to fill out a form and then looked at how many questions it asked and said, "forget it" as you stopped?
Make it immediate: Sometimes this isn't possible but whenever you can, make the call to action something they can complete right now in the moment. Remember, they might discover your ad or marketing piece at 2 am or while they're standing in line at an airport.
For most organizations, a sale is a multi-step, complicated process. So keep that in mind as you create your calls to action. You'll have a lot more success getting people to take one baby step at a time. Just give them the steps.