The goal of marketing is to win the hearts, minds and trust of people. If you win them over, you might win their business too. It has taken a lifetime of experiences to learn these timeless laws of marketing. Being the youngest of 11 kids, losing my Dad at 6, being raised primarily by women and becoming a bridge builder shaped my worldview towards human-centered marketing. I hope you find them beneficial.
1. The Law of Humanity
Great brands always remember that prospects, customers, users, ambassadors and loyalists are real people, with real needs, wants, motivations and ambitions. They never forget that they are in the business of making the lives of their customers easier and helping them realize their ambitions.
Be empathetic. Treat customers like human beings. Humanize your brand.
2.The Law of Findability
If they can’t find you, they can’t buy you. If a prospect can’t find you on Google page 1, your product or service won’t be included in their consideration set. This applies to college offerings, company products and non-profit services alike.
Unapologetically and systematically secure Google page one rankings.
3.The Law of Ideals
There is a deep yearning in people to belong to a tribe of like-minded people. Along with the wish to “buy” a product/service, they have a subliminal desire to “buy into” the ideals that a brand embodies and personifies.
Know and declare your ideals and live by them. Intentionally attach an idea/ideal to your product or service. Send signals that your profit-motive is powered by a deeper purpose. Think like Patagonia which stands for “environmental conservation” or Capitol Technology University which advocates “STEM equity” or Abbott championing “health equity”.
4. The Law of Familiarity
In the world of marketing, familiarity and ubiquity convey trust and success.
Surround and engage prospects in their favorite hangouts and at every turn.
5. The Law of Hope
Great brands are merchants of hope. They solve customers’ problems.
Merchandise hope. Merchandise solutions to customers’ challenges and problems.
6. The Law of Romance
You can’t bore people into buying from you.
Romance people. Inspire them. Create high-fidelity experiences. It shows you care for people and you respect them. It shows your commitment to help them in their hero’s journey. It honors the risk they are taking in choosing you and believing in you.
7. The Law of Distinctiveness
In marketing, the beginning of greatness is to be different, and the beginning of failure is to be the same.
Differentiate from your competitors. Create memorable and distinctive experiences.
8. The Law of Heroes
The customer, not the company, is the real hero of a brand’s story. You are merely enabling your heroes to realize their destinies. Telling the stories of your customer heroes will attract other like-minded prospects. This will create a community of happy customers, brand ambassadors, influencers, referral streams and reliable feeders for new customers. This will also effectively transform your decision funnel into an inverted funnel where like attract likes.
Celebrate customer heroes. Tell smart, authentic, honest, surprising, compelling and delightful customer stories. Let them attract new like-minded customers.
9. The Law of Proofs
Buyers are both intelligent and skeptical. Persuade them by providing proofs in the form of stories, stats and third-party validations.
Go long on proofs and short on claims
10. The Law of Destiny
You become the story you choose to tell. It’s how organizations make meaning from the arc of their history, and operate with a sense of destiny to create purpose that propels them into the future. This story is what customers buy into. A brand rarely exceeds the size of its ambition and the story it chooses to tell about itself.
Tell a better brand story.
11. The Law of Branding
In the sea of sameness, brands win. Brands are trusted more by people, command a premium and are valued higher by the financial markets.
Know your brand’s core promise, values, ideals, distinctions and what you stand for. Speak with one brand voice to all audiences, and strike different notes for each customer segment.
12. The Law of Strategic Thinking
You don’t deploy strategy for strategy’s sake. You play to win.
Lean on timeless principles of strategy. Focus. Lead with strengths. Expand bright spots. Open new channels. Play where others aren’t playing. Zig when others are zagging. Up the game. Deploy “Both And” thinking. Smarter wins.
13. The Law of Investment
Money makes money. Without proper investments, it’s tough to launch new products and new brands on a human scale.
Invest in marketing. Invest in marketing only in those channels where your customers and influencers are hanging out.
14. The Law of Measurement
You can only manage what you can measure.
Measure what matters. Create a shared marketing dashboard of key performance indicators including the ultimate metric i.e. the net promoter score.
The human-centered laws not only put the focus on the most important aspect of marketing, but they also result in enduring relationships, loyalty and long-term profitability.