What is your marketing strategy?
We don’t have one. Over deliver, care more, work harder. At Strategy Lab we believe in being so good at what you do that you don’t have to rely on telling others about it. We want to ensure the work we do is remarkable enough that people will inherently want to talk about it. Permission based marketing.
Pull > Push
How do you segment your customers?
The only way to segment people and customers; fixed vs growth mindsets.
Some people believe what you are given is what you have for the rest of your life. That life is structured and you should do what you’re told so as long as someone above you is giving as order. The opposite is the growth mindset. From Carol Dweck’s instant classic, Mindset, she makes a great case why we all should strive to be growth minded.
As for customers, fixed mindset customers won’t last long with us. We thrive on growth. Growth minded folks will find our attitude as refreshing as a snow cone on a hot summers day.
What are some of the major marketing challenges you encounter?
Sales then staffing. First you can’t get work in the door. Then you create something amazing and a bunch of people want it! Then you can’t find enough people to help you with all the demand you’ve created. Once you finally find enough team members demand has subsided and all of a sudden you have nothing for people to do. And on and on goes the cycle of marketing for a startup.
Our goal is to never say those horrible horrible words…. I’m too busy.
How do you overcome them?
By Doing The Work. One of my books of all time is The War of Art is written by the same gentleman who wrote “Do The Work” as well. Stephen Pressfield, one of my favourite authors, in this book he talks about the life of an artist. Every day an artist wakes up and goes to work, no matter what. Some days they will create brilliant master pieces (well eventually) but most days they just create mediocre pieces of work. The point is to always get out of bed and go to work.
As a company I can’t guarantee sales too far in advance, all I can do is teach a way of thinking that makes us much less dependant on living from sale to sale. Creating value in everything you do, testing theories on digital marketing each week, and developing meaningful relationships with the people you come in contact with daily.
Our people are our best marketing.
What types of promotion do you use?
Well we don’t really. We like to buy tables at charity events, we like to support Pride Week and organizations like Family Service Regina, Carmichael Outreach and Creative Options Regina. Those three organizations alone have such a positive social network in the community that all we have to do is really help them in achieving their mission and they will ensure we stick around.
Seth Godin says “advertising is the tax for the unremarkable.” I agree. I’d rather do business in a way that is attractive to other people, that makes people smile and that hopefully creates an emotional connection.
If you have to promote you’ve missed to boat.
Now there’s nothing wrong with a little promotion items here and there, heck I LOVE t-shirts, stickers and postcards. What I don’t like is blatant self promotion of a mediocre product. Telling me to buy your product is assuming I’m dumb and have never heard of your product.
Instead of telling people to buy your brand, first be a brand people seek out, that people love to come in contact with, and that people will miss when we’re gone.
Which do you find most effective?
Word-of-mouth is the remarkablity piece, you must always be trying to create more positive goodwill. You can’t give lottery tickets away, I do that but you can be known for something different! Well other than word-of-mouth, Google!
Social media is usually the catch all term for what people call “online marketing/advertising”. When it comes down to what really impacts our bottom line Google is a much more valuable tool for lead generation. Social media is much more for customer service and reputation building.
Why did you choose your current pricing strategy?
Simple because it’s transparent! A lot of marketing companies aren’t up front about how they charge customers. Going way over budget, inflating prices to ridiculous margins, and negotiating “kick-backs” to sales people for product sold. I really don’t like a lot about how the industry has been operating, we can change that.
Flat fees for projects. A promise to never go over budget and a transparent way to understand what we do. Pretty simple, I think other companies do something similar or will have to start.
What marketing channels do you find most effective?
Weird question. Me thinks Google, but really it’s the mindset of being different on purpose.
Our mantra is care more, work hard. Our most effective channel is our past customers, just a bunch of folks who we’ll never try to sell to just be there the moment they need anything that has to do with their marketing or communications.
What are some external forces that affect your marketing strategy?
The future. We always want to be on the cutting edge of our industry. To do that you must be willing to try new things, when you try new things you end up failing a lot. You have to have a great team because it isn’t going to be easy, failure can be very mentally exhausting. As long as you plan for it, prepare for it, though it never gets easy, failure just becomes a part of every day life at work.