I was having a conversation with a client recently and I was trying to explain what I mean by this, and I did it in such a great way but I wanted to record this and encapsulate this for all of you because it’s really powerful and my clients at the time found it inspiring and helpful.
In my universe there are five dimensions in marketing.
The first of course is sales.
Marketing when it’s flat, when it’s one-dimensional is all about the money, it’s all about the deal, it’s all about the sale. Obviously that is not particularly attractive but sometimes in marketing you do revert to that first dimension. Sometimes you have to ask for the business, sometimes you have to be direct and that’s okay. It’s not a bad thing but it’s a bad thing if that’s all you’re doing.
So if your only operating in the first dimension, in sales, then marketing is not going to be that effective because you’re going to be too salesy, too much of the time and customers will tend to repel against that. That’s because whilst everybody wants to buy, nobody wants to be sold to.
That first dimension, is really valuable but it can’t be operated in isolation.
The second marketing dimension is message.
The second dimension, we’re starting to get a bit deeper now, is into message.
You’ve covered sales, but now you’re starting to get a bit more meaningful and you’re talking about the things that matter. The second dimension really is about deepening that relationship from just talking about what you can do for people in exchange for money, and starting to talk about the messages that matter to your prospect.
That’s ultimately about the outcomes. And those outcomes are super important to your prospects, to your customers, because believe it or not and I’m sorry to shock you, but your customer doesn’t care one bit about anything you care about. They very rarely care, if at all, about anything to do with your business, about anything to do with the things that matter to you, to your bank manager, to your profit and loss. They care about their problems, they care about their outcomes, so everything you do has to be focused on them.
If you find yourself egotistically loving your marketing, stop and check yourself, as the song goes, before you wreck yourself. Because the reality is if you love it too much, it might be really really fabulous that you love it, but do they love it?
Your marketing is not for you, it’s for them, the messaging is for them, the design is for them. So the second dimension of marketing effectively is moving away from yourself, from sales which is very very in the present moment, closing a deal. I find it to be very very selfish, not in a negative way but selfish as in focused on your business. The second level of marketing is moving out to the customer really focusing on their needs and their messaging and outcomes.
The third dimension in marketing is time.
One of the greatest things that we can do with marketing and especially thanks to social media, is we can shift time. We can do things differently and that’s why services like Netflix have really taken off, because one of the things they do is they allow you to time shift how you watch Television. I don’t need to be in at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday evening anymore to watch a show, that’s what life was like when I was growing up.
If you’re young, if you’re born in 1990 or later, there used to be a world where you had to get a catalogue of television programming and determine when you needed to be at home. Now if you had a video recorder (because that’s how it used to roll) you used to be able to schedule and record things and then watch it when you wanted. But there would still be adverts that we’d skip through with the remote. We’d skip through the adverts.
The reality is services now, like Netflix, enable us to time shift.
In marketing you’re able to change the relationship between the customer and time.
How are you playing with time for your customer?
What are you doing that’s helping them?
And how are you using time to your advantage?
If you know it’s 4 p.m. in their location and it’s 8 a.m. in your location, how are you using that to your advantage? You can literally time travel in marketing, you don’t need to be in a specific time to make marketing happen and be effective.
What ways could you play with time and bend time?
How do you save time?
How do you give people time?
What’s the relationship of time to your marketing and to your customer?
So that’s the third dimension, so we’ve had sales, messaging and now time;
The fourth dimension is location.
Location is amazing as a dimension in time because even more amazingly than time shifting and Netflix and things like that, we literally don’t exist in any location anymore when it comes to marketing.
We now exist in a completely location free universe. We can be anywhere, marketing anywhere, to anyone, at anytime, with any message, for any sales objective. Ultimately that location function means that your ability to be somewhere, and the customers ability to be somewhere, means that you can do business irrespective of location. You can deliver marketing irrespective of location.
Especially social really helps you step away from location. It really helps you untether yourself, your business, your time, your location, your messaging, your sales, all of them are untethered from each other and ultimately and not anchored to specific locations, points in time. It’s incredible, it’s really liberating as a marketeer to be free of the restraints of dropping a piece of print through a door or through a letterbox. We’ve had that I guess from the age of email so from the early 90s, but location is really powerful for me.
The fifth dimension for me is station.
We talk about our station in life, what universe do we come from and ultimately social media especially is totally democratized the way we interact with each other. I can talk to celebrities, celebrities could in the US could be talking to extremely impoverished people in any part of the planet, at any given moment.
Twitter for example whilst it seems to be a busted flush to many in marketing, it’s still an incredible liberator, an incredibly democratic space. How can you move beyond your traditional target market to the people outside of that space?
How can you leverage all of these things?
How can you leverage the types of audience you typically serve?
Who else could you be serving?
Because now you’ve got democratic access to each other in a way that twenty years ago you never would have had.
The five dimensions of marketing are: