Create a journey that brings change

Don’t think it’s the end result what your audience/customers want. What comes before that is the journey itself.

The experience from beginning to end. The whole package.

Think about it like designing an exhibition. The visitors come in, either interested or uninterested in the topic, but they don’t know much about it. Then they go through the exit to the gift shop, wanting to buy souvenirs. The journey from the start to end is all decisive.

What’s the change do you want them to make? What realisation do you want them to have? What is so pretty and so inspiring that they will want to have a book about and buy a poster of?

The experience on the journey decides the end result, and whether or not they will tell others about it.

When they start to tell others about it, you’ve done your work right.

What makes you tick?

As a creative and marketer, it’s our second nature to ask what makes other people tick. But to develop our own creativity to the next level, or simply to unstuck ourselves, the question we should ask from time to time is “what makes me tick?”

What are my buttons?

What inspires me and what makes me want to say something?

What relaxes me and what makes me want to escape the scene?

What excites me and what makes me want to turn to the next page and not stop reading?

What makes my heart pound and what makes my eyes watery?

Because being creative means not only to explore the market, the world and humanity; it also means to explore ourselves, who we are and what we are able to become, and more importantly, why and how.

How to save the life of a marketer

Save the life of a marketer? From what?

There’s only one thing that’s very dangerous for any marketer — a bad product.

In recent years, with the rising of social media marketing and viral marketing, brands start to create “persona” to attract customers. Paid ads, loud and aggressive marketing interrupt everyone’s feed. It doesn’t matter what you are reading or watching. The “personas” are dry and fake; the ads invades people’s private sphere — their phone or laptop screens.

The customer as “fish in the sea” — bad product was built from the wrong basis. Even if the best marketing was used for such product, it’s going to be not only a waste of resources, but it’s also morally questionable for marketers to persuade people to pay for such a product — a product the marketers themselves don’t have faith in.

If we are ought to change the marketing, we need to save talented marketers from bad products that don’t serve anyone, that don’t solve any problem.

If you are a marketer but you are working on a bad product’s campaign, don’t despair. Listen to your customers and understand what they really need. If you can, help with the design of this product to make it better.

Or quit and find a better product to market for.

These are the two ways to save your life.

Creative juices not flowing? No time to create? Try doing this first

Not having enough time and not having the right idea are the two big roadblocks for the creatives.

As someone working in the creative fields, we expect ideas coming and hitting us in the head. The working process is like water flowing from the faucet. 

“Just do it.” They say. 

But nobody tells us how. Like it’s all going to happen by some magical power. No intention of yourself. No decision to be made.

“It’s not in my hand,” the artist says, “God put it in my head and He holds my hand.”

It’s a nice picture. But it’s also just not how most of the creators and artists work.

We think we don’t need time solely designated for creative work. Because when it’s time, the process is going to carry out by itself.

We think we don’t need to make decisions to prioritise. Because of course the creative process has the priority — when its the time for it.

But if we, as the creators, don’t intentionally make the decision to prioritise the work, we won’t be able to have the time we need to produce, to deliver the work.

To prioritise means intentionally to do something first, to give it more attention and time.

It’s a decision to be made.

Making such decisions is actively taking responsibility in our creative lives. Even if we are the receiver of Godly creations of arts, this is the only thing that we shouldn’t stop doing.

Prioritise so that you have the time for the space so that ideas can come to you as they will.

Stop ignoring this very important page on your website

Besides the product and service a brand offers, I’m interested the most in the “About Us” page.

If I stumble upon an interesting product, I will search for its brand website first. Instead of jumping right to the product info page, I always first go to the “About Us” or “Our Story” page. 

And I’m not the only one.

It’s like in fiction, TV shows, and movies. Apart from the ongoing plot, we as viewers are very interested in the characters’ background stories. We want to know where they come from, why they do what they do, and lead them on the road that leads them here.

So that we can decide whether we really want to root for them and whether we will invest emotion in them.

When it comes to marketing, telling your origin story is just the same important.

Your product might decide whether the customer will buy it once. Your backstory will decide whether they will come to you again and again — whether they will become part of your community.

Darth Vadar is a pretty cool character. But it is Anakin who made him a legend. 

Channel’s products are beautiful and of high quality. But it is Coco who made the brand long-living and irreplaceable.

And another beautifully told the brand-origin story from The Body Shop official website.

So, if how your brand was built has a good story (I bet it does), show us on your “About Us” page. Because if you show me where you came from, I can decide whether I want to stick around, or even advocate for you.