Signature Management is the PhD of Marketing.
Whats the difference between who you love and who you know? Pretty simple answer is the feeling you get from one versus the other.
Can we just agree for the sake of this article that the use of the term ORGANIC instead of free refers to nonexistent or imperceptible manufactured assistance, like the way organic fruits and veggies do not have chemical assistance? It just happens naturally, similar to the events we experience in life. The really impactful ones anyway. The reason this is important is that the marketing content and/or materials must have the appearance to the viewing audience that it is the sincere opinion or uncoerced view of the content creator. A specific feeling has to be conveyed. We are barraged with ads and sponsored material that masquerades as genuine or 3rd party reviewed etcetera, when it is excruciatingly obvious that the opposite is true. That this was orchestrated by some paid agency or in-house staff member under the direction of the organization. Your clients can smell the difference a mile away. It looks, reads and feels artificial.
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Signature Management this is a concept used by the military to prevent detection of soldiers using camouflage, materials and tactics. In developing organic marketing strategies, I have continued to encounter organic marketing how-to’s and playbooks that neither understand nor take into account the true intent of “ORGANIC”. For now we will coin the acronym OSM for Organic Signature Management.
This is where the ball gets dropped, the lack of attention to the critical intent of the campaign being that it is supposed to “FEEL” natural, when in fact it leaves behind a metallic taste. Insert OSM here. If you use generated content conduct the due diligence of scouring it as well as delivery system/platform and upon identification removing as many direct and ancillary connections to the commissioning organization as possible. This generates a more genuine tone thus becoming more acceptable to the target audience. In a nutshell think like a criminal trying to erase your tracks, or a Special forces operator running a clandestine operation without leaving a trace that you were even there. Reinforce the feeling of certainty regarding your message, without the canned impression shadowing it. Why organizations small and large continue signing off on “Organic” marketing strategies and tactics at criminal rates without doing this simple little step is honestly baffling.
Even better way:
Consider the resources you already have. What about the employees, those with “inside” expertise and even their family members. The people that work for and with your organization whose lives and livelihoods your products and services impact. They too have social media accounts with followers, Youtube channels, blogs, professional publication contributions, networks, book writing aspirations, club memberships and conference attendance or presentations. If you do not have anyone on your staff that does, START HIRING NOW. Incentivize them to post pics and/or write about those situations and encounters they have with clients that fit the overall organizational message, tagging all participants (very important). Extend your tactics beyond the digital into the physical, one example could be having staff speak at local colleges and high schools (introducing your future customers/staff).
Your staff is far more in tune with your target audience than you are possibly aware because they are your direct client connections. Invest in them, inspire them and that WILL echo out from your organization, naturally. The application and integration of rating systems and services, in effect a crowd sourced way for target customers and even potential hires to get a more accurate representation of who you really are and what you do. These give the sense that they are not being told your message but rather hearing it and seeing it for themselves and of their own volition. The redirection of incentives financial and non financial towards efforts as such, would prove much more effective along the lines of an organic campaign with the added benefit of increasing client/employee retention as well. In contrast to artificial or malformed campaigns from those who specialize in boilerplate (bot/system generated content) or templated methods and leave the world with an impression that at best rides the fence between disingenuine and disconnected.
WHAT YOU DO, PROVES WHAT YOU BELIEVE!
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