When you set out to sell your service or product the first question you are usually advised to ask is “how do I distinguish myself from my competition?” But perhaps the first question you should ask is what do people actually buy? I have a hypothesis about what people buy and why they buy. It’s all about creativity. I’m pretty passionate about this and so I want to start a debate. I want you to tell me what you think about the ideas I’m about to share. I’m going to go on to talk about how these ideas should inform your video marketing to help you maximise sales. But there is always the chance that I’m wrong (I’m not) so I want to hear what you think. OK, here goes.Find out how video marketing can help maximise business sales Click To Tweet
Idea 1 – There are very few unique products or services in the world, and those that are unique don’t stay that way for long
In July 2007 Apple released the first iPhone, which brought together all of the current thinking in the mobile industry to produce what was in effect a pocket PC and revolutionised mobile communications in the process. Within a year I was using android on an HTC device which had more RAM, more memory and a better processor. The iPhone was a great innovation and it sparked a whole industry to action which meant that it soon had many competitors and while it is still wildly successful, Android phones hold a majority of the smartphone market (see here).
Idea 2 – Machines can always make it cheaper
This has been true for the last 200 years. The clothes you are wearing are almost certainly not hand woven. The computer chip powering the device you are using was not made by hand. Your car was built by a robot.
Idea 3 – Over the next few years advances in Artificial Intelligence will render human customer service teams obsolete
Watson is a revolutionary computer system that can understand the idiomatic use of language. That’s revolutionary because it has access to all of human knowledge and it can talk. That’s why it won at Jeopardy (see here). When IBM opened Watson to app makers it only became a matter of time before someone realised that Watson would make a more accurate customer services rep than any human. It’s early days now but my take on this is that front-line customer service jobs will be obsolete within 15 years. That’s my best guess for what it’s worth.
Now those three ideas sound pretty depressing for small and medium size businesses but don’t worry because I have a fourth idea.
Idea 4 – The only thing of value, the only thing worth selling, worth buying is… Human Creativity
Your creativity is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s what sets you apart from the massed produced. Its what sets you apart from super efficient machine systems. Your human creativity is what you really sell and it’s what your customers really buy.
How Does A Business Differentiate Itself?
I talk all the time about how video is the best communication method there is, and I won’t repeat myself here because space is limited, so instead I want to talk about how we use video given the problems and opportunities we’ve just discussed. The answer is that we use video to show our human side. To show our ability to problem solve. To show the funny, quirky extra things we do because we can.
But what if your business is boring and isn’t creative? Let me tell you, all businesses are creative. I’ve seen funeral directors that use their creativity to manage the funeral process for their clients and to use humour and kindness and compassion just when it is needed. I’ve watched tilers in bathrooms solve problems with curved and uneven walls and create beautiful results. I’ve seen plumbers weave pipes through dark spaces and intertwine them through impossible gaps and that was definitely worth watching. I’ve seen the lady who has the clothes alteration shop just along from my offices create works of art in cloth for all shapes and sizes of people. Right now there’s a joiner in my house who is replacing some wooden panels and he is carving and cutting and chiseling by eye pieces of wood that will be flanged to fit in the tightest of spots and will look beautiful. But… BUT I hear you cry there are businesses that are not creative at all. What about pound shops?
Oooh that’s a tricky one. No it isn’t. Even pound shops are creative. People use them not for the price. That’s right the pound shop’s success is not built on the price. Most of the things in there can be gotten for a pound elsewhere (or even for 99p) so price is not the determining factor in their success. Their success is built on a sense of wonder. Their success is built on the fact that sometimes you just can’t believe the things you can get for a pound and that you just can’t believe the range of things they have there. Actual glass tree ornaments for Christmas placed next to really unexpectedly good quality baking equipment from a well known cake maker which are next to party favours that are a nice idea for that do you have coming up. The placement of these items is not random either and it certainly isn’t expected. The home where does not segue into DIY like it does in a department store, the sweet do not lead smoothly into the food section and the toys are not next to the wrapping paper. Do you think this is all random? Or do you think the sense the unexpected, the sense of wonder, the sense of fun you get may just be very very creative ways of getting you to spend money?
How do you display your creativity?
Finally let’s talk about your marketing videos. I’m going to give you three tips (just three) on what to show in your video to make people want to buy from you.
1. If you make something, show me
I want to see your hands while you’re making. I want you to tell me what you’re doing and I want you to tell me as if you were telling a friend. Be relaxed, be straightforward and be funny. All humans are funny so just relax and let it out.
2. Solve problems
Whatever you sell, whatever product or service you provide I want to see what problem you solve that I have. Tell me about your solution, show me your solution get your customers to tell me how your solution helped them. Solve my problems.
3. Make your video honest and creative
I make videos and films for all kinds of clients and there is always this common problem. Businesses, organisations, clients always think there is a way that they are meant to present themselves. They always think they are meant to hide some aspect of themselves. This is how you disconnect from your audience. This is how you fail. Show your personality and get your video producer to show it in a way that your clients will want to watch. In other words be yourself and don’t be boring.
So there is my manifesto for what the future holds and how to genuinely connect with your audience. If you think I’m wrong let me know. If you think I’m right, let me know. If you’re concerned what the future holds, let me know and if you think you know better, then let us all know.