Last year I had a lot of fun creating an A-Z of Marketing, writing about a different letter in each blog post. As I began to reach the end of the year and the end of the alphabet, I started to wonder about what to write about next. If you’ve read a few of my blogs, you’ll know that I fully advocate planning ahead when it comes to marketing and especially content, so I knew that I needed a plan for what next.
After a few minutes pondering this issue (yes, sometimes I can come up to ideas on what to write about for me and for my clients in just a matter of minutes!) I had this idea. What about an A-Z of Marketing Experts? People who are doing great marketing, who I could write about, to share with you some of their tips and tricks. So now I am doing just that – I am looking out for people who impress me with their marketing, or who are doing something differently. There could be some surprises along the way and I hope you enjoy my hall of fame.
A is for Arnie!
Here is the first surprise – A is for Arnold Schwarzenegger! If you look up “Marketing Experts” on Google, I bet you won’t find Arnie on the list. However, I think that he really knows his stuff when it comes to marketing. A few months I was recommended his book Total Recall – My Unbelievably True Life Story and I bought a copy. It’s a big book, but he’s a big guy and he’s done a huge amount with his life.
Although he might be best known as a body builder, actor or politician, Arnie has been involved in business for much of his life. When he moved to the US and decided to become a film star (there are great lessons to learn from him about goals and focussing on what you want) he did far more than just acting in front of a camera and hoping that people would queue up buy tickets to his films. He didn’t sit back and expect the film companies to promote the films and wait for the royalties to roll in. Instead, he organised special showings of some of his earlier films, promoting them to specific audiences who he felt would be interested in watching them. He took his films on tour around the US and also around the world, even though many of the film production companies didn’t think that was worth doing. Some of Arnie’s films became bigger successes outside the US than within it, predominantly due to his marketing efforts. He worked out what sort of audience wanted to watch the different films and promoted his films to those groups of people. The key lesson here is to know your audience and target them specifically in your marketing.
Before Arnie made it big on the big screen, he was always looking for ways to earn money and build businesses. He moved to the US in order to do more training as a body builder and to win more international titles. When he wasn’t training, he set up a building company with a fellow body builder. They promoted themselves as European experts in construction and hired other body builders to work with them. They were big and strong and could do the heavy work that other (smaller, less fit) people could do. The business flourished thanks to their marketing expertise and an increased demand following the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. The key lesson? Know what makes you different from your competitors and shout about it.
With the profits from his construction business, Arnie set up a mail order business, selling bodybuilding and fitness-related equipment and instructional tapes to people who wanted to be better body builders. He studied the best in his field, learnt from them and then put what he’d learnt into materials that could be easily sent out to people who ordered them. (This was all back in the 1970s in the days before online shopping and video streaming!) He also listened to his customers. When they asked for advice on what equipment to use, he found companies that could make the kit that he recommended, so that he could sell it on to his customers. When women started asking for help in building their bodies, Arnie developed products specifically for women’s bodies. This final lesson is about listening to your clients and seeing how you can give them what they want.
If you would like a good (meaty, inspiring, funny) read then I really recommend Arnie’s book. There is far more to it than just business and marketing. He will teach you about goal setting and motivation, as well as the importance of friends and family. He can even teach you a thing or two about running a state (he considered his role of Governor of California as very similar to running a business) if that’s what you are aiming for!
Who will be the next Marketing Expert? Who is B for? If you’d like to nominate someone, or even yourself, click here to let me know.
If you need any advice on implementing any of Arnie’s lessons for the successful growth of your business, call me now on 01635 578 500.