What comes to mind when you think of “fearless marketing”?
I think it has to do with creativity, innovation, bold design, inspiring copy, and going for the extraordinary rather than the good enough.
But if you’re like me, the current state of the world is making me feel uncertain and anxious. The pressure is elevated ten-fold for creating unique (or even new) brand imagery, messages, and customer experiences — and a lot is at stake. We all are looking for revenue, engagement, and conversions.
I think the best way to face the coronavirus is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable and with that comes, fearlessness.
Too often we take the safer route — and your customers can tell. But with 12 years under my belt as a marketer, I’ve learned a thing or two (actually, seven) about taking risks.
There is a straightforward, guaranteed way to market fearlessly without putting your reputation or company at risk. What do you get in return? Higher conversion rates, more engagement, and a bounce in revenue.
Here are seven ways to introduce fearlessness into your daily marketing tactics.
1) Start Small
Test your ideas on a small segment of customers first. If your innovative design leads to a 100% increase in conversion, that’s great, you expand! If instead it leads to a 50% drop in conversions, then you didn’t disrupt your overall strategies significantly, and your customer base still enjoys a consistent experience.
2) Personalize, but Be Respectful
To deliver a personalized experience to customers, marketers need to walk a fine line. “Fearless” shouldn’t mean “reckless”. If you go overboard, customers will get creeped out.
Marketers need to take a hard look at how they get the data necessary to personalize experiences. Customers are becoming more aware of the value of their own data. Consequently, we need to rethink the traditional way of getting customer data, or we risk turning off customers.
3) Build Trust
Another big theme is the need to stop talking about customers in an abstract way. Creating empathy for your customers at scale is essential to doing business.
We need to be able to understand and share their feelings and issues, and understand their problems. You need to express that empathy across your marketing campaigns and channels. Is it efficient, is it reliable and do they trust it?
To that end, having authentic, two-way conversations with customers is critical because it creates trust. And if you can build trust with your customers, you can build an incredible competitive advantage for your business.
4) Have An Action Plan
Speaking of pressing a button, make sure you can implement changes to your campaigns or control the traffic flow to your site with a click.
By now, you’ve done everything right: you started small, you tested every step of the process, you’ve built relationships, and now you have some results. Have a way in or out that is easy, quick, and manageable. This way you can constantly improve the customer journey. Then, you can truly take risks without getting stuck at any stage along the way. This means maximizing revenue and minimizing — or eliminating — and moving on.
5) Use Purpose to Test And Measure
Too often, marketers don’t take risks because they imagine only the worst possible outcomes. But if you never try then how do you really know what the outcome will be?
The first step to fearless marketing is to be intentional with the impact of everything you do. This is where testing with a purpose comes in.
Your purpose should always be to have your sights set on an actual outcome and not just a possibility of what may happen. With that knowledge in tow, any marketer can have the armor to innovate confidently.
6) Move In Stages
As a marketer, to accurately measure the impact of everything you do, you need to break every big action down to its component parts.
For example, what factor helped customers get through the funnel?
- Was it the placement of the banner on the desktop page?
- Was it the specifics of the copy?
- The color of the text?
Without knowing, you’ll be afraid of the whole experiment and have no actionable way to capitalize on the successful variant.
The better option: test innovative ideas in controlled environments. Take big risks, but take them one at a time.
7) Analyze, Organize, and Take Another Leap
Finally, to really be fearless in marketing, you have to keep on learning from your customers and trying new things.
If you’ve made it this far, you have a ton of data to draw on, a bank of creative ideas, solid relationships, and a smooth system for implementation. Fearlessness and intelligent caution are not mutually exclusive. With all of these steps in place any marketer would have the tools to stay secure while you innovate fearlessly.
“Fearless marketing” is not about creating flashy campaigns — it’s about creating value. It’s not about impressions, but about the value that we bring to our customers. Ultimately, creating great marketing campaigns — and building a profitable business — relies on really knowing your customers and creating an authentic relationship with them.
If you want to chat about how to be fearless in such a scary time, I’m here!