“Jan, I’m not a global brand with a global budget. How can I compete?”
I’m often asked this at conferences and events. My advice? Stretch your creative mind, and work your core.
Communicate on a remarkably creative level:
Beware what George in Seinfeld might have called creative shrinkage. Don’t retract into seemingly safe fetal positions. Be bolder, not meeker. Be more confident and creative , not less so.
Work your core communications channels.
Channel #1 : Public Relations. If you have news to run, syndicated news outlets will run it. That’s a no brainer, not a right brainer. Your PR dollars must work more ingeniously. Redirect time and money to “Creative Pitching” — winning placements of featured interviews and stories in print, online, broadcast, and experiential media that connect the curiously random dots of your prospects’ lives.
Channel #2: Website and Online Network. Your website is often the quiet, first research tool for prospects. But it ought to be more than a digital brochure. Make it your brand channel where people take away and share a certain thing about you (a link) and send it to someone else. In this way, they expand your brand’s circle of conversation. This results in greater mass, an increased pressure inward, a tighter core. A network that perpetuates communication from one source of energy to another: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…
Channel #3: Keyword Search and Contextual Advertising. Ok, you’re looking and sounding great. Now, be sure your prospects can find you. And once they find you, and then wander off, stay with them as they search elsewhere. Just a click away.
Channel #4: Direct Contact. Email blasts, events and conferences, RFPs, sales presentations. Rethink your direct contact with a prospect. Who sent which media coverage links to whom, and what did Sales do to turn that “Send” into a “Reply” ? Look at your RFPs and sales presentations and speaking opportunities. Do the ways you make “Direct Contact” have an engaging, authentic feel? Or are they missing that special touch that so greatly influence a prospect’s decision?
Whatever you do, do it with a distinct and creative energy electrified from the right side of your brain. It won’t matter what size your budget is. Just how smart and effective.