The funniest reaction I have had to reading this book is someone half jokingly asking “Do you really need a book for that?”
Not sure if they have a 50% leaning to me being somewhat dim enough not to know how to make orange juice (I can…well, I could if I wanted to, honest!) or commenting on why creativity is needed so desperately in marketing. but I digress.
Here is my roadtest of the book, Juicing the Orange.
Obviously what attracted me was the idea of creativity in marketing. It often puzzles me that people want to do the same, safe and basically ineffectual marketing and subsequently bore their customers to death and into the arms of the competition.
By caring too much about “what people might say” about your campaigns, having leaflets because “you always do them” or fretting over whether your tweets should be scheduled for every 2 hours or every four that is what you do.
Be real, be authentic, be creative and people won’t care about your delivery method or tweet time!
You need to stand out from the crowd.
Sure, it can hurt to put your bum in the wind and hope it all works out OK, but if you aren’t true to yourself and you don’t stand out, what’s the point of marketing?
I have been looking for a way to sum it up succinctly and I am pretty close to saying I found it:
“Imagination is the last legal means of gaining unfair advantage over the competition.”
Creativity belongs in marketing
So when looking at marketing, it really is nice to shake off that shackle that to be creative means you have gone off into la-la loopy land and lost the plot.
Creativity isn’t a word of self indulgence, too much cleverness or modern day trickery- it’s about approaching your product and its marketing in a unique way.
And it’s that unique way that will make all the difference in the long run!
So how do you apply creativity to marketing, Juicing the Orange style?
1. Always start from scratch- when you are approaching a new campaign or product, it can be really tempting to just take what the agency, client or people who went before you “know” about a product’s marketing as gospel. However if you don’t start from scratch, you risk getting stuck in the mindset of other people and missing out on other opportunities.
2. Conduct an initial diagnosis- by looking at why things may not have worked in the past, you not only remove the chance of making the same mistake, you may actually work out what the right answer is through the customer’s responses to those failures.
3. Go for the simple definition to your business problem- you should be doing is looking for the watertight line of what the issue is so you can then seek its matching solution.
4. Discover the proprietary emotion- what emotional connection are you making with your customer via your product? Discover that and you are in a much better position to market what your product because your recall will be better, and you will be more meaningful to the customer.
5. Focus on the size of the idea, not the budget– these guys do talk about $4million TV spots for the Superbowl but they have got it right in principle. You can have the best idea with a small idea and the biggest budget with a crap one.
For me, this translates to “don’t talk money until you have an idea you love, then work backwards” because too much money can make you lazy on the creative side and not enough can make you too scared to try a fresh approach.
6. Seek out strategic risks- simply, if you don’t take calculated risks, your competitors will. Be strong enough in your own business to lead.
7. Collaborate or perish- working with other people will help you gain insight. Also a side note to this, collaborate with people who want to work with you.
Whether it’s business or creative pursuits, nothing screams frustration more than dragging someone around who doesn’t really want to be a part of the project you are working on. For you or them.
So leave reluctant husbands, old friends and “yeah maybe” people out of it.
8. Listen hard to your customers- and then listen some more.
9. Screw what everyone else expects- are you bored by car ads that are all featuring windy roads or banks trying to be super clever and seem human as they put down their competitors? I know I am.
Don’t be that boring, stereotypical ad maker. Tap into the customer and their emotional response, not what the industry thinks is their problem.
10. Planning is important- Why test the advertising on the audience afterwards when you can do your research and plan it right the first time?
11. Value your people’s imaginations- “Gifted people take you to higher levels if you don’t micromanage”. How could they sail to dizzying heights if you clip their wings?
12. Don’t aim to nail one part, get it right- “Brilliant execution without brilliant strategy is irrelevant, but brilliant strategy without execution makes you invisible”.
13. Opportunity comes from all kinds of places- “When an influential segment feels like it isn’t being paid attention to, you have an opportunity for an effective marketing campaign”- or in the case of the start-up world, a great business idea if you can match their needs properly.