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.


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?