Convince and Convert, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing

Marketing Sideways to Win at Social Media

Are you ready to kill features and benefits?

You need to find the one thing about your brand that’s inherently interesting. The one thing isn’t something obvious. Instead, it’s an unusual aspect of your operations or corporate culture that often requires some anthropological thinking to uncover.

Once you find the one thing and build social media marketing programs around it, you are marketing SIDEWAYS, not head-on. You’re using a peripheral but more human and interesting component of your brand to tell a story that compels your customers and prospects more so than any product feature or benefit.

I conducted a Webinar a couple days ago about Marketing Sideways. Sincere thanks to the many attendees. If you missed it, the on demand version is now available here. Just register like you would for the live version, and it will auto-play for you.

marketing sideways in social media 300x225 Marketing Sideways to Win at Social Media

Talk to the Plant: Heinz Markets Sideways

One of the examples in the Webinar is a fantastic new campaign for Heinz in Skandinavia that is the epitome of marketing sideways. They figured out the ONE THING about ketchup, which is that it isn’t made, it’s grown. And then they built a brilliant social media marketing campaign around that one fact.

Talk to the Plant tests the theory of whether language aids in plant growth. They have two tomato plant growing side by side, on a 24-hour live video feed. The control plant just sits there. But the test plant is barraged by verbal messages (15,693 so far). You type in what you want to tell the plant, and a text to speech translator “talks” to the plant live, for you and everyone else to hear.

Hugely intriguing, and accompanied by a great “behind the scenes” blog and message tag cloud, the project barely mentions Heinz (other than a small, omnipresent logo and link). But, you get the message. And my opinion of Heinz as an interesting and groundbreaking company has changed significantly.

Are you ready to market sideways?

Related
  • http://twitter.com/bduverneuil/status/1226908812 Benoit Duverneuil

    Reading: Marketing Sideways to Win at Social Media http://ow.ly/lB9

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com/ Heather Rast

    Jason, you had me months ago at the publishing of your “one thing” post here on your blog. I loved it. Read and re-read it, left the tab open in Firefox for days.

    I really like your perspective, and suggestion that taking a step to the left or right of considered norm, when tapped into the bare essence of your brand, can make for a much more compelling-and memorable-story. It’s not about creating a bulleted list of product features you *think* will be valuable or important to your customers–but tying in with their emotional reasons for purchasing in the first place.

    Loved this part best: “You’re using a peripheral but more human and interesting component of your brand to tell a story that compels your customers and prospects more so than any product feature or benefit.”

    Thank you for a great read! Heather

    Heather Rast’s last blog post..The “Content Entanglement Factor”: Inform, Engage, Entertain

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com Heather Rast

    Jason, you had me months ago at the publishing of your “one thing” post here on your blog. I loved it. Read and re-read it, left the tab open in Firefox for days.

    I really like your perspective, and suggestion that taking a step to the left or right of considered norm, when tapped into the bare essence of your brand, can make for a much more compelling-and memorable-story. It’s not about creating a bulleted list of product features you *think* will be valuable or important to your customers–but tying in with their emotional reasons for purchasing in the first place.

    Loved this part best: “You’re using a peripheral but more human and interesting component of your brand to tell a story that compels your customers and prospects more so than any product feature or benefit.”

    Thank you for a great read! Heather

    Heather Rast’s last blog post..The “Content Entanglement Factor”: Inform, Engage, Entertain

  • http://www.lorirtaylor.com/ LoriRTaylor

    This is super, Jay! I agree whole-heartedly. I have a health insurance client and let’s face it, no one cares about health insurance until they need it right? So we set up a health insurance resource blog and then at a separate url a health lifestyle blog focused on helping small business owners keep their business healthy sponsored by my client. Why? Because their target is small business owners or doctors, lawyers, etc – anyone who would need to buy their own health insurance. It’s gone great – time and thought are put into the articles, we have a decent amount of readers so far and we are really adding value to their audience.

  • Audrey Breuer

    Interesting concept – partially another way to introduce a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) but subtly. On another note, what if most of what you think doesn’t easily translate to the tell-all social media forum? Is SM a lost cause for the Incurably Private?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      LOL. Indeed, there is a lot of USP in this. A lost cause for the incurably private? Maybe not. But more difficult? Yes.

  • letstalkandchat

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