I saw a movie called The Joneses over the weekend. The movie was about a fictional family that moved into an upscale neighbourhood to practice Stealth Marketing. I searched for the term on Google and it does actually exist. While I do not endorse the actions taken in the movie, I believe there are 2 lessons we can learn on how to sell more of our product or service to the customer.
First let me give a synopsis of the movie (hopefully without any spoilers for those that still want to see the movie) and I will highlight the 2 lessons which you can use in your marketing strategy going forward.
How the Joneses sell a product to a customer
Four people that worked for a marketing agency moved into a house and were posing as a family with David Duchovny of X-Files fame as the father and Demi Moore as the mother with 2 children. Their job was to visibly use products from the marketing agency’s clients. They would use these products like cars, perfumes, beauty, golf clubs products at their local country club or in the school locker room or anywhere they hung out. The aim was to generate so much interest that people started asking about these products and when they did, that was the cue to start promoting the features of the product.
To the other people in the neighbourhood, they did not know they were being marketed to. To them this was a fellow golf player, school classmate or whatever the case may be. This is what I don’t recommend you start doing to market your product, the backlash can be worse than any gain you may have.
Let your potential customer see your products in action
At one point in the movie, four ladies were jogging lazily down a road in the neighbourhood. They were all dressed in plain-old boring jogging outfits and old sneakers. Up comes Demi Moore jogging towards them in the opposite direction dressed in colourful joggers, trainers from Nike and white iPod earphones sticking out from her ears. She looked very athletic and attractive while doing a healthy routine, she says Hi and jogs past them. The next scene saw all the four ladies at the mall buying everything she had on as if that was what will make them athletic and attractive.
If you have a product or service you offer to your customers, quit talking or writing about what that product will do for them and actually show it to them. Set up a video screencast of your product in action, or better yet get your customers to send you video testimonials and offer to give them a version of the product at a discount or totally free.
The best way to communicate a benefit to your prospect is to show (not tell) them how the product can work for them, how it solves an issue they have, how it automates their manual tasks, how it will help them make more profit from their business. You can step it up a notch by being strategic about which customers you ask for testimonials. Read on to find out how.
Get the influencers talking about your product
At another point in the movie, David Duchovny was at the driving range at the Golf club. He was trying to sell golf clubs from his agency’s client but his sales stats weren’t really as impressive as he would have liked. While browsing for sunglasses at the country club shop, he saw the other customers asking the shop keeper (who also doubled as a golf instructor) for advice. This made him remember a statement his “wife” made to him earlier in the movie about making friends with connectors, these are people that are trusted by the community and their recommendations are also trusted. He ended up booking a session with the golf instructor and made sure they used the golf clubs he was pushing. The instructor was so impressed by the performance of the clubs that he recommended them to everybody that came into the store.
No one will make more impact in driving sales of your product than a highly-regarded influencer recommending your product. Companies have been doing it for years, slapping products like shaving razors on athletes in commercials just to get us to buy. I think it is ridiculous that every celebrity out there has a perfume range that is supposed to be developed by them. How true is that? Anyway, for us well-meaning entrepreneurs, we need implement this strategy and use it to our advantage?
How do we get the attention of these influencers?
Mike Stelzner calls them Firestarters, Seth Godin calls them Sneezers, Tamar Weinberg calls them Influencers. Whatever they are called, they can help us get our message to their audience and start a buzz. Here is a list of strategies you can follow to get the attention of these people.
• Develop a remarkable product that is worth sharing or worth talking about. Nobody will talk about a mediocre product
• Don’t go direct to the influencers, make friends instead with people that are in their influence circle
• Offer to help them with their projects, be genuinely interested in what they do. Don’t flatter them uneccessarily, people will smell flattery from a mile away.
• Get them to try out your products for some feedback.
• If your service or product helps their audience, you can now pitch it to them