Inspiration is everywhere and no wonder when you ask Music producers as to why they copied a song, they would say it’s not “copying”, it’s “inspiration”.
Well, they also say that business is meant to be copied and replicated.
One of the best Business books I read recently was Dhando by Mohnish Pabrai.
He simply states that if a business can’t be copied in multiples, its not worth doing or pursuing it.
All businesses and business models are up for grabs to be copied and bettered. The call is yours — are you brave enough to observe, learn and imitate?
If business models, can be copied why can’t we hack into the backend of large corporations and MNC’s marketing strategies?
This is for small business owners, solo practitioners and tech startup owners — you can now freely copy big MNC or corporations Marketing strategies to your advantage.
There are some basic principles that large companies follow when marketing their products/ services.
Well, why should you copy from them?
- They have spent billions (not millions) perfecting their message
- They have an army of marketing ninjas and gurus to do only one thing, that is marketing
- They have fallen many times and risen likewise. You get to learn from their mistakes — the learning will be cheaper.
The trick lies in learning slow and executing fast.
Think of ways how you could literally copy or get inspired by their moves.
For example, I personally love the marketing strategy of Apple — they don’t shout, they are subtle and they make people drool.
I keep pondering how can I make my website look sophisticated yet simple. How can I write simple language but convey the most powerful message to my audience. How can I dress in a black turtleneck and jeans and still be “cool”!
Now let’s look at some straight yet powerful marketing strategies of the big guys.
- Speak to a specific audience
Let’s look at a specific scenario. Surf- one of the best brands available on this planet. Who doesn’t know them ?
Just look at their ad strategies for the last 3 decades at least.
They target the middle class only. Period.
Even though everyone uses them, they don’t position their product beyond the target market. You will not see them showing rich or upper middle class ladies using Surf.
They might show slightly upper middle class urban woman using Surf Excel Matic which is their product line for top load washing machines.
The learning here is if a company like Unilever who has a billion dollar plus chest of marketing dollars can stick to a particular target set, so should you.
If you sell services, find who exactly is your customer — what is the size of their business, where do they hang out and what pain areas do they have. You will arrive at an audience set. Speak to them with a specific message.
If you are a web development agency or a startup, build your messaging for a very targeted audience. Say “we understand chartered accountants and they trust us with their website”
“Law firms love us, the way we design their websites”
It just clicks and you are an instant authority in that space and raking the moolah should be easy.
2. Be annoyingly consistent
Research says if you see a brand for 16 times it gets registered into your brains.
The big guys know it hence they pound your TV screens, radio spots, youtube ads, newspapers and billboards with their messaging.
They want you to remember them with the logos, colour pattern, font styles, jingles and punch lines.
The big guys know that marketing is nothing but manipulation of our human brains to attach an imagery to an object.
When we see a light green bottle in a departmental store, we know it’s Dettol. When we see any book with a Waltograph font, we know it’s a Disney product. When we see a red arch that looks like an M, it means Mcdonald’s.
The jingles of lifebuoy, McDonald’s, Nescafe, Cadbury’s, Godrej, LIC and many such iconic brands are stored in our brains and they just refuse to go away.
Creating powerful sales copy is one thing and consistently exposing you to them is another. That’s the power of consistency.
You gotta be visible and audible to the point of being “annoying” to your audience, else you are dead.
As a startup or a small business owner what can we learn from consistency?
Be known for something unique and put that out consistently in front of your audience.
If you write blogs, or publish newsletters or have products to sell, be “ annoyingly consistent”
Swoon your audience with consistent content that they either start deleting it or simply wonder in amazement of you.
3. Write insane sales copies
If Sales is the Cure, then Marketing is the prescription
One of the critical elements of a great marketing campaign is a Copy and companies are willing to pay through their noses to have great copywriters.
The punch line, the hook, the ads, the creatives revolve around a great copy.
Starting from the 60s punch line of “Nobody was ever fired for using IBM” to “Just Do it” is a genius piece of creation by some great people.
Think of ways how you can attract your audience by great blog headlines, very cool and witty newsletter subject lines and valuable content on your website.
Either you should piss them off or make them worship you. Don’t be anything in the middle
They say, all marketing is like a party and you happen to be the DJ. So don’t bore your audience. Give them something that will work or give them something that is “troll-worthy”.
Your audience is waiting to hear from you, so what would you serve them? Give them something of value, give them something to get stimulated or give them something that makes them think “wow this guy is right!”
4. If nothing works, simply hack
I am amazed at tools like Simplyweb, Whatrunswhere and Builtwith which just splits open a customer’s online assets and shows what paid ads they are running, where the traffic comes from and all intricate details which is pure gold.
The two best people to learn marketing is — the guy who is already there and the guy who is giving you sleepless nights, your competitor.
Start targeting your competitor’s customers, find out where they hang out and who they deal with — you can dig some valuable dirt in LinkedIn itself.
I know this isn’t a huge lengthy intense writing, but I am hoping this gets us thinking that there are possibilities.
Replication is the law of the universe, and business models are meant to be copied.
Successful is the one who can innovate only 10% better than the nearest competitor or the market leader.
Inspiration is everywhere and is waiting to serve you. So who are you copying today?