Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

Take a look at this great old vintage ad I found on the internet.

My how times have changed — and advertising along with it!

But some things haven’t changed in advertising, namely, the same basic human desires need to be fulfilled today just as much as they did 50 or even 150 years ago: better health, improved appearance, praise from others, social advancement…

The great late writer Maya Angelou, who passed away this week, had this great quote to say which applies to your business marketing as much as it does to our lives:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Really effective marketing evokes feeling. It’s not just about getting your name out there, but getting your prospective clients or customers to feel something that then propels them to take action — a desire to look better for their daughter’s wedding, a desire NOT to look like their mother did when she was their age.

Would this cigarette ad have evoked feeling back in the 50s when it ran? Absolutely. Actually it was one of Camel’s most successful ad campaigns. It’s a statement about class, about sophistication. It speaks to that innermost desire we all have to win other people’s approval. It evokes feeling.

The worst way to market your business is to use marketing that doesn’t evoke feeling, that’s simply fact-based. People don’t buy based on facts. We buy based on feelings and then justify with facts (if you don’t believe me then just look at all the luxury cars on the road — cars get us from A to B — if we all bought based on facts we’d likely all be driving inexpensive Hondas). People won’t choose your business necessarily because your qualifications are superior to your colleagues. They’ll certainly use your qualifications as a justification once they’ve made a decision, but they’re far more likely to decide based on the softer stuff — how you come across on your website and whether you seem like a nice person who genuinely cares.

The worst kind of marketing you can use in your business is the kind that makes a person feel nothing. It’s boring. It’s dry. It’s…well, easy to ignore.

On your drive home tonight and over the weekend, start paying attention to the ads you see, and think about what kind of emotion they evoke. But most especially, pay attention to the things that you buy and ask yourself, “What really made me buy it?” You might be surprised at the answer.

Last week I was consulting with a client in Salt Lake City. I love the mountains, and I especially love mountain towns (I spent a lot of time in Squaw Valley, CA, as a student). I’ve never been to Park City, so after the consult day with my client was wrapped up, I grabbed my rental car and took a sunset drive through the winding canyon toward Kimball Junction and Park City. The area of Park City is deceptively big – big enough to have a Wal-Mart, all the major fast food stores and its own shopping mall. But it’s old town Park City that has all the charm (and hosts the Sundance Film Festival every year).

Right before I got to Main Street I saw on my right hand side something that absolutely demanded my attention. It refused to be ignored.

Here’s what it was: a statue of a moose. OK, nothing remarkable about that, especially in these parts.

But here’s what made it stand out – it was painted GOLD and had an assortment of hand-painted dogs on it – some wearing bandanas, some not. Right next to a red fire hydrant. Outside a busy store.

Huh? As a dog lover, an art lover and a marketing nut I had to pull over to take a closer look. The store the moose belonged to had won. In an extremely colorful, frenetically busy mountain town with eye candy everywhere, this moose stuck out like a sore thumb. And now, almost a week later I’m writing about it to you in this blog post.

Your marketing has to be just like this moose. Different. Eye-catching. Innovative. It’s about taking something familiar and breathing new life into it.

Let’s say you’re a physician who specializes in aesthetic medicine and you’re doing a promotion for non-invasive body contouring, like Venus Freeze or Cool Sculpting. You don’t have to look very far in your own market to see that your competition is running practically the exact same ads as you are. The ones, most likely that the company who invented the technology provided you with. Sure, those stock ads are better than nothing, but the problem is that people have seen them all before. It’s just a plain looking moose sculpture, and it makes you blend perfectly into your surroundings.

Your marketing has to stand out. Don’t look to your competition to copy their ads. Look outside your profession at completely different industries for examples of great marketing. Great marketing is…great marketing, no matter where you see it. What stopped you in your tracks? Who have you bought from recently? How can you use these ideas to market your business?

How Not to Send an Email to Prospective Clients

December 6, 2013

The story that I’m about to share with you is highly embarrassing because it’s the worst example I’ve ever seen for how NOT to send an email and it comes from my home country, New Zealand. The story has made the rounds through many world media outlets including Yahoo, AP, Reuters, BBC, and many blogs […]

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The Big Mac Belly Flop: Has McDonald’s Committed The Cardinal Marketing Sin?

November 20, 2013

Usually, when I write about McDonald’s, it’s to uphold them as a shiny example of how a business should be run – systems based, very little is left to chance and everything is scheduled and automated as much as possible (especially the marketing.) But not this time. Trying to shed its “Super Size” me image […]

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Marketing to Create Raving Fans Out of Your Customers

November 13, 2013

Here’s an insightful poem about advertising called Why Is It? (author unknown): A man wakes up after sleeping under an advertised blanket, on an advertised mattress, pulls off advertised pajamas, bathes in an advertised shower, shaves with an advertised razor, brushes his teeth with advertised toothpaste, washes with advertised soap, puts on advertised clothes, drinks […]

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The Disaster Beauty Spa Experience – 3 Things To NEVER Do In Your Business

October 30, 2013

One chilly October evening, I headed out of town for a bit of pampering (or so I thought). A client had generously sent me a gift certificate to the spa of my choice and after doing a bit of online homework, I settled on a “top medical spa” that was a 30 mile drive from […]

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The Best Lesson In Transforming A PR Disaster Into An Absolute Triumph You’ll Ever Read

October 10, 2013

Maybe you’re already well versed with who Elon Musk is – a South African born entrepreneur, father of five and one of the world’s youngest and most influential billionaires. His passion lies in technology – specifically taking well-established structures and throwing them on their head by achieving what others can barely even conceive of. He […]

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Is Detroit In The Toilet Or The Biggest Opportunity Of The Decade?

October 4, 2013

The first time I ventured into the “bowels of Detroit” as some people call it was just a couple of years ago. I had been summoned to appear in the Supreme Court (no, not in that way – but to get sworn in as a US citizen alongside the melting pot of new immigrants who […]

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The Pink Paint Story and The Home Depot

September 25, 2013

A couple of weekends ago I drove to my local Home Depot store in search of the perfect paint color for my 3 year old’s room (she wants pink!).  Now maybe you’ve never had to shop for pink paint before but let me tell you that the selection of different shades is enough to make […]

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A Marketing Secret From Warren Buffet

September 11, 2013

The Oracle of Omaha has become famous for many things – he’s worth $39 billion dollars but chooses to live in a humble bungalow in Omaha where his property tax bill is just $13,859. In an industry filled with false promises and hot air, Buffet’s no nonsense approach to living simply has equally been applied […]

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The Ultimate Marketing Secret

September 4, 2013

I once heard this great story about a little commercial fisherman who fishes off a well known peninsula in New York.  This man has become legendary in fishing circles and I even heard it rumored that he was the guy who captured the great white shark which inspired the movie Jaws. Every morning Captain Jack […]

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Stupid Hot Air Balloons and Why Marketing Is NOT Art

August 21, 2013

About 10 years ago, I remember sitting in the room of a huge ad agency listening in on a “pitch” meeting. This ad agency was a big one. Their offices were sprinkled with crazy hairstyles, wild tattoos and uber-hip means of self expression everywhere you looked. They charged top dollar to their clients and prided […]

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9 Super Effective Ways To Get More Leads

August 14, 2013

Confused about what marketing to invest in? I don’t blame you. The marketing options out there are enough to make your head spin. Here’s a straight forward, plain speak list of some of my most proven marketing strategies that have got the biggest results for our private clients: Revamp your website so that it’s not […]

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Don’t Bother With This Kind Of Marketing

August 14, 2013

There’s a famous advertising quote that goes something like this “half the money I spend on my advertising is wasted.  The problem is I don’t know which half!” But that’s only part of the problem.  With all the marketing hokem out there, its harder than ever to discern what kind of marketing you should be […]

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How To End Prospecting Once And For All

July 31, 2013

“Stop selling, start helping” – Zig Ziglar When asked whether you’d prefer to get a root canal or get on the phone and cold call prospects for new business – I suspect you’d be like the majority of folks and choose the root canal. Frankly, I would too. Prospecting for business is hard, grubby work. […]

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A Brilliant Laundromat Marketing Strategy You Need To Swipe For Your Business

July 25, 2013

There are only about 2 or 3 laundries in New York City that specialize in laundering and hand ironing expensive bed linens, from companies like Charlotte Thomas Bespoke, Frette, Pratesi, etc. Their prices (as you’d imagine) are a lot higher than your average dry cleaner’s – starting at $50 and up per sheet.Of course, if […]

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A Dave Matthews Band Marketing Lesson

July 18, 2013

Last week I finally went to my first Dave Matthew’s Band (DMB) concert. I’ve been a big fan of this group for the longest time – in fact, the first time I heard them was about 18 years ago when I was traveling through South Africa and their 2 big hits “Satellite” and “Crash” were […]

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5 Simple Ways To Build An EXTRAORDINARY Business

June 26, 2013

When I was a kid I was terrified of chickens. Don’t ask me why. It seems completely ridiculous and it made me the butt of many family jokes (especially from my two brothers). Fast forward a few decades and fortunately I’ve managed to curb my chicken phobia, but they do have a funny way of […]

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Little Hinges Open Big Doors

June 12, 2013

Once upon a time (in 1960) there were two brothers who desperately wanted to go to college.  Their parents were broke, so the boys figured that the only way they were going to be able to swing it – was by working a couple of jobs. The boys wound up working for a struggling pizza […]

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Are You Really An Entrepreneur Or Just A Business Owner?

June 5, 2013

“The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It” – Peter Drucker When I started my first business way back when I was 17 I had no idea what an entrepreneur was. In fact I doubt I’d even heard of the term. When I graduated from college with a marketing and business degree […]

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