Heretic Creative Agency, James Lopes, Melissa J Scott, design, marketing, branding, videography, video marketing, website design

Things I don’t like about marketing today…

I had a meeting recently with a potential client. What stood out for me in that meeting was their pointed question, “What is your point of difference?”

Now this was an interesting question, NOT because it was unusual, but more because it was so overtly asked. Normally, it’s an implied question which comes out as part of a conversation (I should point out for context’s sake, that the meeting’s purpose was for me to film their NYE event on Sydney Harbour, and they wanted to know how I’d go about it).

So this instance really gave me pause to think about not only what I do differently, but why (and it certainly helps when your partner in life happens to be an extraordinary marketer, and can therefore fill in the blanks).

I’m an instinctive creature. So my points of difference have been very much driven by my passion for my craft, as well as by what I register subliminally going on in my cinematic and digital world… this little blurb is as much for my benefit in enunciating these differences as it is for yours, so perhaps all of us will understand the issues a little better.

So here we go… Things I Hate About Marketing Today, and WHY.

1) Quantity RULES (Quantity vs Quality).

I would MUCH rather shoot one excellent and interesting promo than a series of 10, just because someone wants social media fodder. Saves THEM money, improves the quality of their presence online and makes ME much happier because I’ve come up with something cool and engaging. Ohhh the CLUTTER! If you’re a marketing manager or business owner, understand that no one really cares about you posting a half baked pile of garbage twice a day, just to get that “like” from your 8 besties who support you no matter how “blah blah” you get. Interestingly I’ve also been guilty of contributing to this pile of nothingness over the years.

2) Don’t stand out

I pitched 3 concepts to a Client a few months ago, which ranged from “mild taco sauce” to “defcon 4 fire frenzy” in terms of creating a buzz. Now I REALLY liked the “defcon 4” concept, because it was almost certainly going to cause a sensation, replete with new likers and new haters. I also let the Client know that new likes and new hates are part of standing out, and that they should be prepared for this. They responded with “we actually don’t want to stand out” (yep.. the business owner of multiple outlets actually said those words). My instant response was to question what I was doing there, to which they replied “we want to be in amongst the competition”. This was difficult to argue with, because prior to my shooting for them, they were nowhere on the landscape, with no presence other than those who knew them in their area, so I guess ANYTHING was going to be an improvement. Still.. where COULD they be if they’d gone with the top shelf option. Business at present is tough. It is! We had a couple of elections, we’ve got a fickle and correctional real estate market, and people are really reluctant to spend. Not sure how long it’ll be until someone announces that we’re in a recession, but considering we’re experiencing the WORST economic growth in 18 years, the experts are saying an announcement of this magnitude isn’t far off. How many businesses have already gone under? In my local neighbourhood, literally within 100m from my front door, I’ve watched 3 established businesses close their doors in the past 4 months. Still want to be “part of the pack”?

3) “Register for my FREE e-book” or “My top tips to avoid marketing pitfalls”

There is NOTHING worse than the apparent disguise of giving away free stuff to get business. YOU GAVE AWAY NOTHING! YOUR BOOK IS CRAP! YOUR TIPS SUCK! Some Marketing “genius” started this little ball rolling God knows how long ago, and it’s a trend that just will NOT die. The people being fooled by this, probably also subscribe to that Nigerian Prince who has 34 million dollars in gold bullion to give away. It’s a cheap, throwaway line that is SO prevalent now that even IF you were giving away quality, no one’s listening because we’ve all wasted time on those who haven’t. Alternatively, how about we engage with your constituency on SOME level? How about we actually demonstrate what it is that you do really really well and make sure your customers and clientele really GET it? Let’s demonstrate your quality, your care factor, and wrap THAT up in an engaging story.

4) Imitate the competition.

I see this all the time. I shoot cinema ads for a client here in Sydney, and the ads are THAT unique, Cineads shows them to other similarly placed businesses around Australia. Now these ads have spear-headed a plethora of imitators and I LOVE that we’re being copied. We pioneered the rush and these other characters have decided not to stand out, but to try and join the pack. The next set of ads for my guys will set the bar again, and I’ll happily sit back and watch the rest of them spend good coin to nestle in amongst the pack, before I elevate MY guys again. Ah the joys…

I’ve ranted a bit.. so let me redress the balance somewhat by pointing out a tried and true method of marketing. Be authentic. Tell your story. Push the perceived boundaries. Be as engaging and interesting as possible about it. If you’re too close to the subject and don’t know what your points of difference are, ask someone you trust (I actually had no clue what quite a few of my points of difference are, until a few Clients who had previously worked with other cinematographers pointed them out).

So there you go… please take what you will from my “Top 4 List of Things Not To Do In Marketing”… subscribe now, and receive my free e-book “I’m Never Releasing an e-book”


If you want to speak with Melissa or James in greater detail about how to get more out of the content you are creating, and how to have a functional website, blog, e-newsletter or marketing plan that will enhance organic SEO, then please say helloand we can have an obligation-free chat.