Fun Works But...Few Internet marketers would argue. Fun is more engaging, exciting and likely to convert than whatever is fun's opposite number. The problem is FUN is an "eye of the beholder" marketing problem. Your fun may be my misery. This post shares tips to safely add fun to your Internet marketing.
Why is "safely" in the title?
What Isn't Safe About FunPresumption and hubris are dragons every Internet marketer fights. As Internet marketers we are museum curators. Our jobs require passion and beliefs, but our egos can't write checks we can't cash. Great curators such as Jan Gordon (@JanLGordon), Brian Yanish (@MarketingHits) and Alley Greer (@AlleyGreer) are empaths.
Empaths FEEL audience acceptance and trends. Great curation is simultaneously an expression and a mirror. Great curators know their audience so well they can take risks others couldn't. Practicing the art of empathy brings us to our first Fun Marketing Tip:
Create Fun Marketing Tip #1:
I agree with Joseph Campbell. We are all on the same "Hero's Journey", but your path may be different. Demographics aren't the only thing to think about when creating personas. Add in a healthy sense of each personas psychographics, those things they LOVE and ASPIRE to and your personas will be more helpful and well rounded.
Create Fun Marketing Tip #2:
Fun is live ammunition. Before you roll something you think is TOO FUN to your entire list test with a representative cross section (people from each persona). You may find some of your personas get the FUN while it leaves others cold.
Test, Test and Test Some More
No worries, use your FUN MARKETING with the groups who enjoy it and keep testing new ideas with the groups who didn't "get it". Your marketing should be relevant to your personas. Don't try and shove something one group loves down another group's throat because this kind of Big Brother marketing never works and does damage. FUN doesn't have to be universal. Test and use The Fun where it works.
Resource Tip: Optimizely is a great A/B testing tool.
Create Fun Marketing Tip #3:
Want something NOT to go viral? When you design "viral marketing" campaigns you fail at inception. Marketing is an intersection between your values, products and services and your customers' aspirations. The chance of you arranging your marketing, sun, moon and starts in "viral" order is zero.
Don't Try To "Go Viral"
Viral blows with the wind. What is viral today will be tomorrow's yawn. Sure some can play this game. You and your marketing CAN NOT because those who do are dedicated to thinking in viral terms 24/7/365. You don't think about viral marketing nearly as much, so your "let's create viral marketing" efforts will fail.
This is NOT to say your marketing can't go viral. The best chance you have for "viral" transmission of your ideas, products, services, values and brands is to be "true to your school". Create marketing aligned to your values and your customer's aspirations. This posts from Atlantic BT's blog can help you find your Unique Value Proposition and align marketing to your customer's "brand ideals":
How Unique Greatness Meets Customer Aspirations (Atlantic BT blog)
Alignment is key. Without alignment your marketing has no chance to go viral. When your marketing is aligned to YOUR values, the aspirations and desires of your customers advocacy will happen. The cool thing about social advocacy is you never know where it will go or end.
Social advocacy may take your marketing further than you imagined or increase conversions with your best customers. Don't try to create viral marketing. Be GREAT at being YOU and listen carefully, consistently and well to customer aspirations and needs and your marketing will go as "viral" as you need.
Create Fun Marketing Tip #4:
The safest place to find "FUN MARKETING" isn't in your office. If your business is like most your customers suggest "fun marketing" daily. If that feedback is trapped in your call center or you are tone deaf in social learn to listen and build on your customers' ideas and suggestions.
Find Fun Out THERE
I realize most of the readers of ScentTrail Marketing are Type A marketers who LOVE to create stuff. I would never tell you NOT to create, but I would advise that, at least when trying to riff humor or fun, listening and building on customer feedback, ideas and input is the safest path.
Create Fun Marketing Tip #5:
In a previous life I worked where the environment should have been FUN but it was a salt mine. You can't create FUN MARKETING if you aren't having fun. One of my favorite Fun Marketing truisms comes from my Ben and Jerry's cycling jersey. Square in the middle of the back it says, "If it isn't FUN why do it".
Have Fun Yourself
Not everything we do everyday is FUN, but anything can feel FUN with the right spirit and attitude. This reminds me of a favorite Zen parable:
Fun Marketing may be as impossible to create as viral marketing. In other words, if you set out to create fun marketing you are much LESS likely to do so. If you create a fun and supportive environment your customers will know since customers always know. Fun is the most contagious thing on the planet, so live in the moment, listen carefully and have fun. Life is too short to do anything else.
Stay In Touch, Share Your IdeasIf you have ideas and want to help develop ScentTrail Marketing leave a comment or do one of these:
Follow Digital Revolutions on Scoop.it
Join ScentTrail Marketing (on the upper left)
Martin W. Smith on