Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make ‘em Say WOW! - Marketing To an Audience and Delivering Value

Today, I had a revelation. I spent the day soul-searching, building my story and “brand” so that I could position myself out in the flooded job market. YOU, yes you, need to at some point have a positioning statement to either get hired, or maybe to provide a product or service. If you’re reading this now, whether you realize it or not, it was through marketing efforts that we are having this exchange. Using social media, I called out to you, either on twitter, LinkedIn, or maybe it was good old Google search. I’m not sure how, but I’m glad you’re here!!

Who am I? I’m a marketing professional and certified PMP. I’m also a former jazz vocalist and bandleader. I am passionate about projects that focus on marketing to targeted audiences to deliver value. I make ‘em say WOW!

How? I will share that secret with YOU.

I found success through my unique understanding of three critical factors: Marketing, Audience and Value. These are so interrelated in a project that if one is missing, the project will not be successful. Now I will help YOU market yourself to an audience to deliver value, so that YOU can be heard!


Let’s back up for a second and make sure we understand what the heck marketing is in the first place! All that schooling and a Master’s degree, and I can pretty much break it down for you like this:
Marketing is promoting your brand to get some kind of exchange to happen. The exchange can be money or time. Social Media is an outlet of exchange – we are marketing ourselves. (And at times, in 140 characters or less!) But to market yourself, you need to first establish your brand.
Brand is how people recognize you, and what makes YOU unique - Kind of like your trademark or footprint! I doubt we’d leave the same footprint - We aren’t in the same shoes, right? (For a fun look at branding, see my previous post on “Dude, Where’s My Brand”) To find your brand you need to do Research.

Research for self-marketing is two-fold : 1) Introspective. Try this: Just sit with a pad and a pen in a comfortable location that inspires YOU. And figure out your story - In all that you have done, is there a common thread that ties it all together? I bet there is something unique to YOU. Think of EVERY job you’ve ever tackled and write it down so that you can unleash a common thread. If you need help on this, talk to a career coach (I was lucky to have connected with Barbara Fuller, whose patience, questions and listening was breakthrough) 2) Audience. You need to understand who your audience is, what they value and where they are. Once you understand the value of what you are marketing and who your audience is, you need the vehicle to get your message to the market through Advertising.

Advertising Guess what - if you’re using social media, advertising can be FREE. It won’t cost you a dime, just TIME. But don’t worry - more tools pop up every day so that you can build your tool kit to automate the process and save you TIME. There are people out there who really want to share, if you’ll only find them. Just look.

In doing my “inner research”, I realized that audiences have always been my passion - discovering what the value is to them, developing the message to reach them, so that we could have a deeper conversation. Whether it was with audience members at my performances, or marketing to organizations who are in the BUSINESS of audience engagement, my BRAND always involved marketing, audience and value.


So what WAS your decision to stop by my site? Believe it or not, you are now part of an audience. And I want to help you DECODE an audience, and realize that each one is very unique. There are other audiences happening right now. I love being on the pulse of what makes an audience tick. It’s fascinating to uncover the secrets of “Why we buy.” Did you ever consider why we all drive not only different car brands, but different models? I haven’t met anyone as “logical” as Mr. Spock yet and I know there’s a lot of emotion, values and personality involved in most purchase decisions. Or we’d all be driving the same car. And eatin’ the saaaaame food.

My marketing edge is looking into consumer behavior and uncovering what motivates an audience. I am very fortunate that my mom encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit at an early age, and since then I have been tuning in to the needs of my audiences.

At the age of 12, I had my first successful business venture. Care to see a SURPRISING photo I found? I set up an iced tea stand in front of my house, when a film crew was hard at work filming a movie on my block - Brighton Beach Memoirs. I noticed the film crew was drenched, as it was really hot, and my product provided a real VALUE. I developed relationships with each crew member that stopped off to buy a cup, and offered a free cup of popcorn with a purchase. My next door neighbor was unsuccessful in trying to cut into my market share with his soda stand. Why? I had already established brand loyalty with my audience, and continued to enjoy a regular customer base until the crew was finished shooting.

YOU have an audience waiting for you, and you just have to set up your own iced tea stand with your own added-value popcorn!
How did I have an edge in building audiences, having a conversation and developing meaningful relationships? By realizing that each audience makes its own choices based on…


Value has become such an ingrained part of our vocabulary, I wanted to go back a step and look for a definition. There were quite a few. In fact I found definitions relating to music and color. But pretty much, do you realize that value relates to EXCHANGABILITY?

There are four factors in value, and it is VERY unique based on your audience’s needs. There has to be some type of EXCHANGE, whether it’s money or time, for something that one considers DESIRABLE. It should be USEFUL, and it has to be RELEVANT for both parties.

Here’s an example of how I applied these four VALUE factors: As a former jazz vocalist/band leader, I enjoyed a successful career. I wore many hats, including a performer hat when presenting myself to listening audiences, and a business hat when presenting myself to audience venues as a medium to reach those listeners. Because I customized my marketing communications to make them RELEVANT, DESIRABLE and USEFUL for each individual audience, there was an Exchange (e.g. my performance for their time or an opportunity to expand my market.

It probably wouldn’t have been very valuable for your use of TIME to just read a story about ME. My career has been built on projects that MARKET a clear message to develop audiences through finding VALUE. I needed to understanding what my brand was, who the target AUDIENCE need was, and researching if it would be worth someone’s time and money!

Let’s continue the conversation. Please post a comment so that I can learn what you find valuable or what questions you may have. In return, I hope I’ve helped you in finding what value you can bring to an audience and how to market it.

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