There’s something to be said for trusting the experts, and also for taking the time to do a little research. Rather than believing you have to come up with all the answers on your own, sit back and learn from the real masters of marketing. Who are the folk you should pay attention to? Read on.
- Walt Disney. Not only was Walt Disney the master of sales and advertising, but he was also one of the first true marketing masters. One of the most important things I’ve learned from studying up on Disney is his belief that the people who design something should also use it. Only when a designer fully understands the needs and desires of customers, can he or she build an experience perfectly. Disney had all of his ride designers for his amusement parks ride every ride, over and over, until each detail was just right. Even details as small as the fireflies on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride were carefully managed.
- Mary Kay Ash. If we can learn anything from the pink-hued world of the woman who built an amazing cosmetics empire, it’s the power of multi-level marketing. Women all over the country earned their pink Cadillacs simply by selling to their friends and family, building a network and recruiting other sellers.
- Steve Jobs. Jobs didn’t just want to produce machines that did new things. He understood the huge impact of intuitive design and super stylish packaging. Rather than selling a smartphone that took a PhD to operate, instead, Apple launched a phone that didn’t even require an instruction manual. Packaging products with stickers that identify users to other users is also a masterful tactic in image marketing.
- Tim Ferriss. Ferriss is nothing if not a big ideas guy. He teaches us that a claim needn’t necessarily be one hundred percent true in order to be a powerful selling tool. While we don’t literally believe we can work just four hours a week, or become a chef in four hours, we’re still lured in by the idea that we can be substantially more efficient or more educated in a short period of time. Ferriss operates on the principle that we all want to improve, and none of us has boatloads of free time to do it in. Wild claims can work.
- David Ogilvy. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a veteran, the most important lesson you can learn from Ogilvy still holds true. Split testing pays dividends. Make sure you’re making the very best decisions by testing variations and alternatives. Try two versions of the same email offer and track the results, or run two versions of a new ad, each in a different zip code. The point is we may think a move is successful, but unless we test it, we don’t know for sure.
- Michael Phelps. Though we don’t necessarily think of the Olympic golden boy as an entrepreneur, he can certainly teach us a thing or two about brand building. Phelps shows us the benefit at working all out, with single-minded dedication to becoming the very best at just one thing. Phelps is focus personified.
- Seth Godin. Godin gave us the purple cow – his term for a remarkable product, one that stands out from the crowd. What Godin teaches is the benefit of making your brand distinct from everyone else. Be your own, unique thing, and do it better than anyone else.
There’s so much entrepreneurial literature out there, you could spend your entire career simply reading, rather than working. Since none of us has that luxury, it’s essential that we extract the heart of the very best advice out there. Following the examples of the very best – the marketing masters – sets you up for success.