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I’m not yet famous, I must be doing my marketing wrong

Martin Stewart

February 10, 2021

Martin Stewart is a director of London Money 

If you had £50k to spend on marketing today – what do you think is the best way to spend it to get maximum return in the shortest space of time?

This is a tweet that I did mainly out of boredom (which tweets are not done that way?) and for what was no more than a throwaway comment, it surprisingly gathered over 5,000 impressions very quickly.

A lot of that engagement may have come about on the assumption that there was a £50k marketing budget in play. In reality, it was more a call to arms to see if there were any “guerrilla marketing” types out there who could throw an idea out that was so left-field it was probably too crazy NOT to succeed. To me, that would be so much more interesting than the usual trite response of “have you tried Google AdWords?”

I got some great replies to the tweet which served to give me plenty of food for thought. One respondent led me to a brilliant video on YouTube in which a well-respected marketeer talked about trying to balance the importance of short-term client activation (sales) with the long-term importance of building your brand presence.

The video went on to explain that traditionally, the marketing budget was weighted toward creating short-term sales, with a lesser amount then funding the long-term awareness of a brand.

However, in a digital world, that formula is now being flipped on its head and “emotional brand building “is the new kid in town. So much so that we have now reached the point whereby fame is the Eldorado of marketing and that is what transforms the common or garden client into a long-term valuable advocate of your business. I am now beginning to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to “influencers”.

Right, so now all I need to do is become famous!

But that is no longer as hard as it used to be. The Beatles would not need to play 10 hours a day over 280 gigs in Hamburg anymore, they would just pitch up at the NEC and do a quick 30 seconds in front of Simon Cowell.

Or maybe JK Rowling would not have received 12 rejections on her manuscripts when she could have just self-published the books herself. And poor old Van Gogh might not have died penniless had he instead daubed his artwork as graffiti all over the East End of London under the pseudonym ‘Vansky’.

So, fame may be closer at hand than I realise but seeing as I cannot sing, write or doodle as well as these examples it seems like I might need to try something different instead. I thought I had the perfect plan recently when I came up with the idea of reworking all the ABBA hits into sea shanty songs.

Alas I was gazumped on that idea by, of all things, a random postman from Scotland. An idea is only truly a good one if you get to execute it in the first place. It is true what they say, the graveyard is bristling with innovation.

But maybe the new go-to app, Clubhouse, can lead me to getting my followers up into the millions? Clubhouse is all the rage now and it has already reached a valuation of $1bn. If you do not yet know, Clubhouse is part chatroom, part podcast, part radio phone-in and part Speakers Corner. I have only dipped my toe into this particular medium and while, on first review, it does appear to be full of entrepreneurs that have generated X millions of business, I do feel there is something here that can be of great benefit to those that use it going forward.

While Twitter remains a firm favourite for me it is clear that, due to its rolling nature, you have to be ever-present on it in order to maintain relevancy and while it has been a great tool for meeting professional connections it does not appear to be the tool to get in front of the consumer.

Clubhouse on the other hand allows for planned scheduling and an ability to engage much more on the frontline with a targeted audience. If only Twitter would allow me to specifically invite people to come and see my brilliant tweet which I plan to publish next Tuesday at 9am.

That said, from what I have heard so far on Clubhouse, those using it to market mortgages need to move away from criteria and process and more into the emotion and storytelling of what we do. That way we can speak to and hear from the people that matter – the consumer. That is 1-0 to the humans and tough luck on the algorithms.

Find your voice, prove authenticity and provoke interesting debate and anyone who cracks Clubhouse will go far, maybe even as far as the White House? Mind you, get it wrong and you could as easily get carted off to the madhouse. Fame and infamy can be uncomfortable bedfellows.

So, there you have it, I am off to better things and leaving you all behind. But before my chauffeur picks me up I want to share a quote I came across the other day from a US country singer, Brad Paisley. If there is another one that encapsulates where we are in the world today, I have yet to see it:

“Someday I’m gonna be famous. Do I have talent, well, no. These days you really don’t need it.”

— Brad Paisley


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