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December 26, 2009

In the new year don't try to be where they are...

As we head into the new decade, Trust Based Assets are more important than ever. Declines in newspaper circulation, discretionary time, entertainment habits and racing technological change means that the game of marketing has changed forever.

The old marketing game was one of finding out where your targeted demographic were likely to be, and then trying to barge your way into their lives through ads, tricky commercials and billboards.

Unfortunately, your targeted demographic isn't where they used to be. And even if they were they are increasingly blind to your ads, commercials, billboards and posters.

The new marketing game is not about being where they are. Not if you want to capture their attention and try to convert this into a sale. The new marketing game is about being what they are looking for.

This means two things - 1) You have to have a strong brand. A brand that is trusted, represents value, and is worth while seeking out, and 2) When they find you, you only have one chance to be truly outstanding.

A trusted brand

Before they are going ot want to seek you out, they have to know about you. They have to be very clear about who you are and what you stand for.

This is where the spamming starts. Banner ads, full page lift outs, irrelevant posts in discussion forums and posters in bathroom cubicles. Annoying isn't it? The tactic of yelling at people continually until they finally stop and take notice is the most annoying hangover of the TV era.

Instead of trying to annoy people into submission, you need to find other ways into their stream of consciousness. Ways that will provide you with an immediate advantage because you were recommended by a trusted source.

Here is a short list of options, I sincerely recommend trying out all of them to see what works with your people, in your industry, and in your geography.

1 - Be interviewed. As an expert you can be interviewed in any one of the hundreds (thousands?) of news sources for your industry. magazines, web sites, blogs, TV channels, Radio shows, YouTube Channels and so on. The chances of you being able to secure interview time today is far greater than it ever was.

2 - Sponsor posts. Pay-per-post gives you access to hundreds of ethical bloggers who are paid for accepting a post about you. The best of these are the ones who will tell it warts-and-all, rather than any form of sycophantic review.

3 - Articles for recognised sites. Still a great way to get tapped into your audiences psyche. As per usual, your goal is to get people to pass your articles around to each other.

4 - Your own blog. Do it today. It doesn't matter if nobody ever reads it. The discipline of writing regularly on your topic will sharpen your writing skills. I regularly recommend this as a developmental step for my own consultants. Your goal is to get people to recommend you to others. I will post on this shortly.

The bottom line in all of these online trust based assets is finding a way to become recommended by a trusted source. They trust the news program that interviewed you, the blog that featured you, the magazine with your publications, or the blogger who recommended your blog.

 For all online work however, from Twitter to LinkedIn to newsletters to your own blog, the key is to be truly extra-ordinary. Beyond what they thought they were looking for, outside of their normal thinking, and aligned with their dreams and aspirations.


The point is easily missed. trying to be where they are doesn't work anymore. And even if it did we are no longer easily captured by attention grabbing tricks.

Instead of trying to be where they are, be what they are looking for - and be extra-ordinary when they find you!

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