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How to be provocative

Inertia and apathy keeps most prospective customers from engaging with you. 95% of your market is not ready to buy. You’ll need to provoke a reaction to get prospects to reach out to you. Boring 2 Boring content won’t do that. Being creative will.
how to be provocative marketing tips

In any sales funnel, prospects need to ‘know you’, ‘like you’ and ‘trust you’. Marketing helps prospects get to know and like companies. Trust can come over time through helpful content, or through in-person sales engagements.

Provoking a reaction might appear a confrontational way to go about marketing. But, in an era rich in systemised content marketing and me-too product offerings, doing anything less may lead to obscurity.

We’ve found that marketing tactics, while useful for testing and optimising, won’t allow a new product or service to become famous. Fame is a lubricant for growth (according to ad man Rory Sutherland). Fame, quite simply, opens doors.

Clients come to us with these strategic challenges:

“We’re better, but buyers stick to incumbents!”

“How can we stand out from the competition?”

“How can we be more efficient with the marketing we do?”

“How can I deliver on our Series B promises of growth?”

None of these can be solved with tactics or micro-optimisation. They require fame. To get fame you have to be interesting. This is hard for many B2B businesses who are less versed in brand and creative marketing than consumer businesses.

This is good news. Because here lies the opportunity: it’s easier to be bold, to stand out and consequently gain market share. 

How to become famous

“Celebrities who look and behave differently—often outrageously by old social norms—are getting all the attention, while the girls next door are overlooked.” Jeetendr Sehdev on how Kim Kardashian gets fame.

Boldness sells. Whether it’s Elon Musk’s PR stunts for Tesla, or Richard Branson’s for Virgin, if you want to get attention you have to have some fun and stick your neck out. 

Elysian Fields partner Sami McCabe is a PR veteran (but looking good on it). We’ve woven PR into our strategic process to ensure the positioning and marketing strategy we create will be newsworthy.

To be newsworthy is to have a story that relates to many. Journalists tell the story of the problem; they illustrate its impact on people, culture, business, economy. Brexit, Britney, Covid, Trump – all stories rich with problems that affect many.

So how does this relate to our niche B2B tech category?

In short, you need to own the problem and make it relatable as stories. Stories need to be urgent, essential and surprising. 

Urgent

You solve that problem quicker and create value for the buyer faster. 

Buyers need you sooner, which shortens buying journeys.

Essential 

You brilliantly solve a problem for a niche audience that highly values you.

Surprising

You’ve new insight and a fresh view. 

You’ve reframed the problem in a new way. 

You’ve found ways of solving it that are quicker, easier and cheaper than competitors.

So the strategic process seeks to unearth the urgent, essential and surprising facts about your product or service. 

Often there’s a category wrong to be righted, or an incumbent dragging its feet. Most of the time we can find a burning platform that prospective customers didn’t know they were standing on. We search for the surprising insights at the founding of the business, or the surprising applications customers are using your product for.

The process is one of uncovering what is true but also interesting. We then construct stories around your new Position that the media can get excited about. Your brand tone of voice and personality should be punchy and fun enough to get noticed. And your content can’t try to bore people into buying. 

Swagger

When organisations stick to the plan and become bigger, bolder and more interesting they get noticed. They become more confident and clients respond. When this happens they take on a ‘swagger’ as our ABM and design partner Squaredot describe it. 

They become bigger fishes in their respective ponds and, 12-18 months after starting the process they land the biggest deals and the biggest offers they have ever seen. We tracked this pattern. It happens every time.

So if you want to get known and get your own swagger, get in touch and commit to the course. 

Arrange a call today

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