This year I set a goal to level up my marketing skills. I invested thousands of dollars into marketing assistants, two different coaches, and hours of courses on tactics, tools, and tech. But one of my biggest insights this year came from this Steve Jobs video on marketing.
My biggest takeaway heading into 2020 is that marketing (and prospecting for sales) will be shaped by two powerful factors: decentralization and personalization.
If you want to reach your audience, you can’t just sponsor a podcast, put an ad in a magazine or buy airtime on TV. In short, you can’t broadcast. You have to meet them where they are, and these days channels are everywhere. Decentralizing means having a unique voice on each channel, repurposing content in unique ways for video, print, and audio.
You have to meet them where they are, but more importantly, you have to do it in a personalized way. The internet, migration back to urban areas and real-life meetup groups are combining to tear down the barriers set up by faceless corporations and make it about the person at the company.
You. People do business with people they trust. And what better way to signal trustworthiness, than to amplify and stand by your values by being authentic in your intent to educate your prospects before making them an offer?
Marketing is about values.
As Jobs describes in the video below, Nike sells shoes, but they never talk about them. They honor great athletes and great athletics. You know what it means to wear Nike, not how the pressurized air in the sole provides lightweight cushioning.
Apple is not about making boxes (Apple Macs) for people to get their jobs done. At their core, they believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. This is what it means to be an Apple user.
Zander Nethercutt does an excellent job to elaborate on this point with more examples in his article, People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves. In it, he references the book The Attention Merchants, by Tim Wu:
“Desire’s most natural endpoint is consumption.”
As Zander summarizes the success of Pepsi, he shows that “those who bought in and became a part of the Pepsi generation were searching for a new way to feel, rather than a new beverage to drink. Pepsi’s genius was that it found a way to be both.”
What does it mean to be a user or consumer of your product?
For the full masterclass, here is the master, on marketing.
Steve Jobs marketing video
Those cargo shorts are amazing, aren’t they?
How Do You Apply This To LinkedIn?
In my online course, I always talk about authenticity. This is what Jobs is getting at too. You can only really be authentic if you understand what you value. Connecting every part of your LinkedIn strategy to your authentic values will create a theme and consistency that people can trust. Great marketing, and great LinkedIn outreach, start with values.