Chris Doh of The Future company laid out a wonderful thesis on the basis of how creative companies can really help their clients. It fits in with the First Principle thought process. (Breaking down anything to its constituent parts.) As Elon Musk denotes, a battery is made up of simple basics like lead, one of its most basic constituent parts.
So, breaking down marketing for a company begins with its most basic parts.
If self-knowledge is the most difficult thing in life and business, what is the easiest thing?
As Chris points out, the top of Maslow’s triangle of needs, after food, safety, love, and self-esteem, comes creativity, meaning, and purpose.
As we start to bring it all together determining your most basic purpose for your company provides the basis for all your marketing decisions moving forward. The job of your creative agency is to…
…help you define, uncover, and refine your companies purpose.
Here comes the pure genius of Chris’s thoughts:
“Your value is determined by the quality of the questions you ask.” This is incredibly insightful for any creative agency.
Questions about what color, size of font, etc. are mouse jockey questions. They reduce us to mouse movers and do little to help companies find their purpose. Don’t misunderstand, that feedback is important, but it does nothing to explore the companies real needs.
Start asking higher quality questions:
- How will you measure success on this project?
- Why do you actually need the changes you seek?
- What makes you believe that these specific changes will help?
- And the mother of all Chris questions: beyond money, why does this company exist?
When you start helping your client explore the basic principles of their company it will help you both determine the best creative path to take.
Any company worth its salt can design a red starburst with Times New Roman font, but determining the why is beyond priceless for both parties.
The next step then becomes distilling the purpose of the company into a story that resonates with your “tribe” as described by Seth Godin. Those are people that like your corporate culture, ethos, and values. They become advocates, not just clients.
The storytelling aspect is critical in the marketing effort as this is they style of communication humans are hard-wired to engage with from primitive times.
Your story is unique to you. It cannot be replicated by your competition. It is not like a fundamental claim made by every company:
- We have the best service
- We have the lowest prices
- We have the highest quality
- We care more
Every company claims the exact same thing.
So, how do you distinguish your company?
- Why you exist
- Why you stay in business
- How you ended up where you are
- Why your journey makes you understand your clients actual problems
Your story is your unique story proposition and it cannot be taken by your competition.
Thus, break down your marketing message to its most basic parts. Arrange those parts into a message only you can tell. Then, work on that message constantly.
Cherish it. Nurture it. Make it the center of your marketing universe!
If you want to swap stories contact me: