Marketing Uranus and Other Quandaries (Anniversary Special)
My blogs have been floating in the ethosphere for just over a full year now, so this post is in celebration of my one-year blogging anniversary. Below is my first post titled, Marketing Uranus and Other Quandaries. It was originally posted on August 7, 2015.
I thought it would be fun to re-share this post and answer a few frequently asked questions.
Question 1: Why do you blog?
Every blogger asks himself or herself this question, including your humble writer. The original objective was to promote my professional services, but I quickly came to love the writing process. I typically begin the process with a question and then try to answer or solve the problem through research. Then I challenge myself to present the material in an interesting or entertaining way. Sometimes it actually works! Well, that’s my rational answer.
The real answer is I was hooked on blogging the first time someone I didn’t know signed up for my blog email list. Connecting with someone (I’ll probably never meet) through my writing was intoxicating. And, it still is.
Question 2: Why do you infuse psychology into your blogs?
As a marketer, the pithy definition I use for marketing is this: We connect people with the things they want. As a businessman, I know that this is only partly true. Connection is wonderful, but a business needs sales to remain a going concern. A marketer’s job is really to influence decision-making. In essence, how can I convince you to choose this product, service, candidate, or idea over another? That’s marketing. I learned this lesson the hard way.
About twelve years ago, I found myself managing a fledgling portfolio of products at The Coca-Cola Company. Up until that point I had been perfectly content living in the abstract, conceptual, theoretical and creative side of marketing—advertising and communications—where we avoided accountability at all costs. When it was my neck in the noose, my focus shifted to hard metrics like sales and margin dollars. Being accountable for the success or failure of “my business” changed my perspective.
With a meager budget, every penny I spent had to provide a big return. So, I decided to spend my free time researching the science of influence, which is the psychology of decision-making. I quickly connected the science of influence back to the classic four P’s of marketing. This information not only helped me grow my portfolio, it helped me make better decisions in all aspects of life. I share what I have learned in my blog posts because I believe in the practical application of better decision-making.
Question 3: Why did you name the blog, Marketing Uranus and Other Quandaries?
I was working on a project for a client (in a very dry industry) and became frustrated at the difficulty of reaching their audience in a meaningful way. Then I remembered having the exact same feeling working on some of the world’s most popular brands. That’s when I realized I’m not alone. Everyone feels that way. Then I had a random thought: What if I had to market the planet Uranus?
I’ve had a special place in my heart for the planet, ever since I heard Dan Rather call it Ur-inis on the CBS nightly news decades ago. His emphasis was on the first “U” with no emphasis on the “A.” Ur-inis. Really? He couldn’t use the customary phonetic pronunciation of the word Uranus because it sounds like a certain body part at which teenaged boys like to snicker? Wow. Uranus has a serious marketing problem.
And, that became my first topic and ultimately the name of my blog.
Marketing is hard. No matter how wonderful your product, or how big your marketing budget, or how much experience you have marketing similar products or services… there are no guaranties. Influencing people to buy what you are selling is difficult. Hopefully the information I provide in my posts will make it a little easier.
Here’s my first blog in its entirety:
Marketing Uranus and Other Quandaries
Uranus is a rather unremarkable planet. It is the seventh of eight planets from the sun in our solar system. It has the third largest radius and fourth largest mass. It is considered an ice planet with a surface temperature of around -224 °C, which gives it a rather boring pale blue hue. And, according to images taken from Voyager 2, Uranus has the appearance of a featureless planet.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—the name Uranus. Generations of school kids have giggled over that name and who could blame them? So, the question is how would you market Uranus?
The reality is most of us work on unremarkable brands with serious flaws just like Uranus. Even the sexiest brands struggle to stay relevant in this rapidly changing universe. Remember, cute little Pluto was kicked out of the neighborhood because it couldn’t meet the requirements of planetary membership (our solar system is a pretty exclusive club). It takes work to stay relevant.
The purpose of this blog is to offer unique perspectives and practical solutions to grow your business. It will address topics involving marketing, growth strategies, successful business practices and the psychology of decision-making.
The information presented in the blog comes from legitimate sources through the research I’ve done in writing my book, Persuaded by The Seven Deadly Sins of Decision-Making and Influence (coming soon) and from my 20+ years of personal experience working with companies ranging in size from start-up to billion dollar brands.
This blog is meant to be a resource for entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders and marketers alike. Sign up today to receive posts via email.
Oh, and if you have any creative ideas on how to prevent Uranus from becoming a Pluto, please send them to me. I’ll post my favorites on the blog.