• How the Fourth of July Relates to Marketing

    We know it’s unusual for a blog about freedom and patriotism to be on a marketing agency’s website. Most people would urge us to simply stick to the business side of things. However, the history of American Independence relates to marketing in many ways. 

    A Little History…

    The day we celebrate as Independence Day happened on July 4, 1776. To permanently proclaim their separation from England, the Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 to draft and adopt the Declaration of Independence. America was born.  

    It’s worth noting this was thirteen years before the US Constitution was ratified, which set our country on a path towards freedom, equal rights, due process and checks and balances. And while disputes over these issues still exist today, we all enjoy the right to self-determination. 

    The Declaration of Independence foreshadowed the Bill of Rights that followed. Thomas Jefferson wrote: 

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

     

    So, Wait. How Does This Apply to Marketing? 

     Marketing is a vehicle that carries people to discover happiness. 

    That’s an audacious statement, isn’t it? 

    Happiness isn’t solely the result of buying things, although it’s inarguable that great products do in fact bring joy to our lives. 

    Services like medical treatments, legal representation, and home repair give us relief, which in turn leads to happiness. 

    Social causes, non-profit organizations, and educational opportunities help us fulfill a sense of purpose in our lives, which also leads to happiness. 

    Good food, entertainment, new music (or classic!), art and humor energize us to keep pushing forward every day. Happiness. 

    All of these things are discoverable thanks to the marketing efforts of the companies and non-profits who provide them for the public. 

    Marketing Is a Shortcut in the Pursuit of Happiness

    Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if all promotional activity suddenly came to a stop. 

    You’d be left to research things on your own. You’d reluctantly rely on the advice or recommendation of those around you. You would undoubtedly experience disappointment (or worse) as you test new products and services by trial and error. 

    It’s a sloppy and unhappy way to find the information, goods and services you need to live your best life. 

    That knee replacement you need? Your Pop told you to visit a doctor fifteen miles away. Little did you know there’s a better doctor just two miles down the road. 

    Pest control? You learned that you could sprinkle coffee grounds around your house to ward off ants from your home. Too bad it doesn’t prevent rodents from raiding your pantry every day. Who do you call to stop that? 

    You spent $20 for a new shirt at the store in your neighborhood. You could have bought a better one for half the cost just a few miles away. 

    Word of mouth and self-exploration are fraught with flaws.

    Marketing gives us a direct path to learn new ways to improve our lives. It also helps us avoid shady businesses and subpar quality. 

    How many times have you avoided buying a bad product because you responded to an ad for another one? You can thank marketing for that. 

    How many times have you received speedy repair service or learned how to fix it yourself by reading a blog online? You can thank marketing for that. 

    The Fourth of July is More Than Just Fireworks

     Independence Day is a celebration of the birth of our nation. It is a celebration of our freedom to be who you want to be. While our country still struggles to equitably apply these liberties for all citizens, we ultimately share the privilege of living in a country where you can pursue happiness through the freedom of choice. That decision-making process is simplified thanks to marketing.  

    From all of us at Divining Point, we wish you a safe and happyFourth of July!

    Our CEO, Coy West, considers the Fourth of July his favorite holiday. 

     “What’s not to love about explosions and beer?”

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    Want to make an impact with your marketing? Give us a call. We’re here to help.

  • The Power Of a Photo

    The competition for attention is fierce. Merely having something to say doesn’t mean people will notice you. 

    It’s estimated that the average American sees up to 5,000 advertisements every day. Most of these ads are image based, which means we are bombarded with hundreds of photographic messages every hour. 

    You may have the best product in the world with the best story behind it, but that doesn’t mean anyone will give your brand, your story, or your company two seconds of their precious attention. Often, the best you can hope for is a fleeting glance. 

    Honestly, who can blame them? You’re asking for the one thing that matters most to people: time. 

    People scroll through Facebook and Instagram at the speed of light. They vacantly drive past hundreds of billboards every day. They sit idly watching television, hit the mute button and walk to the kitchen during commercial breaks. They’re searching for something impactful, something meaningful to grab their attention. 

    When a buyer experiences your marketing they make a split-second subconscious decision about how much time they want to give you. All too often they turn away. 

    Simply put, no one has the the mental bandwidth for an uninspiring pitch.

    They only stop and look when something stands out. That precious moment is only earned through the power of great photography. 

    Why Custom Photography Matters

    It’s easy to find an image on a stock website that you feel tells the world who you are. Before you do that though, let me caution you: your brand is more than a product or a service. 

    Your brand is your story. 

    There are reasons why people choose one burger shop over another. They buy Nike instead of Adidas. They drive a Chevy instead of a Ford. There’s a reason why people choose you rather than a competitor. 

    You might think it’s price or location or even because you spent the most on marketing and advertising. All of that certainly helps. But in reality, the real reason people choose your brand and find it so appealing is because they feel like they know your company intimately. You’ve become friends. 

    The choice to invest in custom photography is the decision to boldly tell your story in an original and heartwarming way that establishes a deep connection with the viewer. Each image gives you a unique place in the world and in people’s hearts. It is a specific moment in time directly relevant to your brand’s story. The context is purely yours. 

    Stock photos, while beautiful in their own right, are taken in a way that gets used and reused for commercial purposes. As such, the image is applied in ways that lose its original context. It’s a flat representation of your brand. 

    Even worse is when the stock photo you selected to tell your story appears in another company’s marketing… sometimes even your competitors’. 

    Show me something new

    Lest you call us hypocrites, we use stock photos, too. Our blog is full of them. But when it comes to representing who we truly are, what we do, and what our brand means, we break out equipment to shoot something original. 

    That’s because we know that the secret to great marketing is to produce photos that present what we do in a way that is different than what people experience every day. 

    Subscription box services perfectly illustrate this philosophy. To demonstrate their products, they purposely lay out each piece in an orderly fashion on a clean table. These companies know that the lives of average people are not so clean and tidy. The presentation is so appealing you’re driven to say, “I want that!” because who doesn’t want a box of products that could bring some kind of order to your life? 

    Everyday we see flowers, dogs and children from our normal vantage point. We tilt our heads down to look at them. However, when seen from the ground, that same flower, dog, or child suddenly becomes fascinating. We’re not used to seeing them from that angle, and when we do our eyes are opened to discover these commonplace objects in new and unfamiliar ways. The same technique applies when we seeing tall things from above. 

    Almost everything can be shown in a different way to make it interesting. From oilfield services to medical procedures, everything can be presented in a manner that catches the viewer off guard and forces them to take a second look. The images linger. The meaning is processed for days. 

    Applied to marketing, when you use custom photography your brand leaves an indelible mark on the viewer that inspires top of mind awareness and a long lasting impression. Sales are directly correlated to the amount of time the buyer spends on a website. When a photo ignites the imagination of your buyer they move forward to buy. 

    Details matter. 

    The thought and attention to detail that is put into an image finds its way into the emotional center of your customer’s brain. It connects with them in ways that a stock photo cannot. People prefer quality over inferior value, and they’re naturally moved to take action when they see it. 

    The key to quality photography involves lighting a photo in a way that makes it interesting, carefully setting the scene, and posing the subjects in ways that both follow and break the rules of composition in order to create compelling visual interest. These little details matter. When applied to your brand, it tells a story that is unique to you.

    When a photo is well lit, when it’s clear, when it’s obviously not just a selfie, people automatically assign a higher value to what that photo represents. 

    What is your brand worth? What is the service you provide worth? What are you worth? Honestly, you are worth great photography.

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    Need to a marketing team to help you “stop the scroll”? Give us a call. We’re here to help.