If you follow DMA and are a reader of The Core, you are already very aware of our admiration for Seth Godin, so it will come as no surprise that we are BIG FANS of Seth's latest book, This Is Marketing. Knowing it would be love at first sight, we eagerly awaited the arrival of our copies upon the book’s release last November. As predicted, this little orange book has become a staple in our office, regularly joining us for team meetings, proudly awaiting the arrival of new team members on their desk prior to their first day, frequently shared with clients and industry colleagues…you get the idea. And while we certainly recommend picking up a copy to read (and re-read) we wanted to share a few messages that resonated with our team.
Reaching the Audience that Matters Most for Your Brand
As avid Core readers know well, this industry brings unique challenges: the journey of fresh produce on its path to our plates is filled with a web of obstacles, from weather and workforce challenges to logistics and legislation. With so many steps along the way, marketing can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, and it is often one of the first areas to be cut when budgets are tightened, a frequent focus of criticism after less-than-stellar sales. The reality is at the end of the day, marketing is what can make a difference with the audience actually purchasing your produce. Our marketing efforts should be designed to bond people to brands, establishing trust and relationships. We may not always be as “flashy” as whatever is trending on our social media streams (though we argue that we could be!), but we are a consistent, dependable and helpful resource for consumers—you know, the ones who look for our brands first on the grocery store shelves. This “micro market” is the connection we should be striving to make, the momentum we should be investing in, and where the magic really happens for our brands.
Cultivate Loyalty and Passion for Your Brand
Common interests and passions are a crucial aspect of building bonds with others. Who hasn’t shared an “OMG” moment centered around an element related to a favorite restaurant, grocery store or brand? Facilitating these moments for people makes marketers happy—and creating a collection of these moments is the stuff marketing dreams are made of.
Brand loyalists facilitate the impact—connecting with these loyalists is how brands move forward and grow. These are the individuals who prefer and trust us, who know that if they have an issue, we will take it on and work towards a solution. Essentially, we’ve got their backs, so to speak. These people will think twice about picking up another brand, even in a pinch when they really need it. Why? Simple: they want us and they don’t want to settle for another brand that doesn’t foster that same connection.
Connecting Your Brand
People connect to messages that resonate with them, messages that speak to their feelings and the things that have the most impact on their day-to-day lives. In considering your message and approach, as Seth says, “Begin with dreams and fears, with emotional states, and with the change your customer seeks.” Relating to consumers on a deeper level builds and strengthens connections. Remember to keep this top of mind when discussing your brand’s marketing strategy as a way to ensure this connected, consumer-centric approach remains a priority, part of your brand’s modus operandi.
Fan-girling aside, we cannot express the value of This is Marketing (and Seth’s no-nonsense approach to marketing in general) enough. As fresh produce marketers, we know that our products will sell without marketing (people have to eat, after all), but this book serves as not only a reminder of why we invest in this work, but also a foundation to stand on when it comes to the “how.” Supporting an industry we respect and love is motivation enough all on its own, but in the midst of the daily marketing grind and all its challenges, you can never have too many reminders of the impact of your work.
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