Today’s Google Doodle says it all. Alice Paul, a leader in the Suffragette movement of the 1910’s, was born today in 1885. The Suffragette movement can teach us a lot about Inspiring Action. People had been talking about a woman’s right to vote for decades. But these brave women knew that talking was not getting them anywhere. So they took action.
They did all the conventional actions that protests are known for. They marched. They organized. It got them some press. But it also got them ridiculed. Indeed, the name “Suffragettes” was first used in a derogatory way by a journalist, adding “ette” to the word suffrage to feminize the idea of freedom and thereby make it oh so cute. “Look at these adorable little women pretending to want to choose their leaders! Bless their pretty little heads!” But instead of fighting against that ridicule, they embraced it. They even hardened the G and began pronouncing it “suffraGETs” implying that they intended to GET everything they were asking for.
In 1909, Alice Paul and Amelia Brown took a brave action that they knew would land them in jail. They disguised themselves as cleaners at a banquet for English Prime Minister Asquith and other cabinet ministers. When Asquith stood up to speak, Paul and Brown threw their shoes and broke stained glass windows, screaming “Votes for women!” They were arrested and put in jail, where they began a hunger strike. Their jailers force-fed them with tubes.
The movement began selling a board game based on this story. It was called “Pank-A-Squith” (based on the names of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and Prime Minister Herbert Asquith). The goal of the race-style game was to reach the Houses of Parliament, the pinnacle of achievement for the campaign for Woman’s Suffrage. But first you had to get through the dark stuff. Like going to jail. And being force-fed. And laughed at. The game was sold in shops and could be ordered by mail. The proceeds went to the movement.
Board games were the social media of the time. Imagine daddy being forced to sit and play a game of “Pank-A-Squith” with his wife and two daughters. “Oh, poor Daddy! You’ve been thrown in jail for asking for your rights again!”
Next time you think your brand is too serious to make something fun or to engage in social media, remember Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. What would they do? Roll the dice. You might just win.
Key #9 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here
Every business and brand that grows has a Golden Goose.
Sometimes that’s sales. Sometimes it’s direct mail. Other times it’s e-commerce and a digital, affiliate network. Sometimes they tell me it’s “word-of-mouth.”
For a while, whatever it was, it produced the Golden Eggs. It worked. And the Goose’s enemies were marketing and branding. Or perhaps they were the Goose’s servants, such as when the marketing team was really the sales collateral team. Or the direct mail team. Or the in-house studio.
“Our salespeople sell and they’re starting from zero.” “We’re the leader in our category, but no one knows it.” “This channel is just getting too expensive – we need what’s next.” The Inspiring Action Moment is launched with sentences like these.
Our clients have some things in common. They can’t wait two years or even six months for “the brand campaign” to start working. They can’t tolerate poorer sales numbers while they invest in getting more famous. And they aren’t willing to match large advertisers dollar-for-dollar in order to capture a share of the market.
The kind of brand building they need is the kind that makes the selling more efficient right away. They need the kind of brand building that improves their return-on-marketing-spend right away, and then just keeps getting better.
And often they need more than a marketing revolution. They need at least an internal culture evolution as well. They need a team with a new common understanding of what it takes to succeed at the next level today.
This is what we mean when we say “inspiring action.” The great thing about an Inspiring Action Moment is that it can lead to the most exciting and impactful era for a business. Are you ready for yours?
The Creative Director of the Dollar Shave Club is also the guy who made himself famous with a Google Experiment that got him a copywriter job in a top agency (budget $6). His name is Alec Brownstein, and he’s also the co-author of two best-selling comedy books, an award-winning copywriter, a film director and, yes, currently the creative director at the Dollar Shave Club. Spearheading one of the world’s fastest-growing and innovative companies, he’s quickly established himself as one of best outside-the-box thinkers in the industry.
Brownstein is also the mastermind behind the above mentioned “Google Experiment“, an inspiring example of how creative problem solving and persistence can put you in a position to succeed. The experiment gained him some overnight fame, but more importantly, it landed him a job. Listen in as Brownstein tells host Mark DiMassimo about how an unemployed International Relations graduate with zero marketing experience was able to catch the eyes of some of the industry’s most highly touted executives.
And, if you’re into laughing, you may want to order his books HERE and HERE. These books fit perfectly on a coffee table or even a bathroom, right next to your razor which you probably got from signing up to the Dollar Shave Club HERE.
I once worked in an agency that did good work, had smart people, and yet grew relatively slowly. Even though I was on the creative side of the business, I was an avid proponent of growth because I knew how much better and how much more fun a growing agency could be.
Don’t settle for less. Find, ask, challenge, orchestrate, search, revisit…do what it takes to get inspired to do your best.
At DiMassimo Goldstein, we put our values in a document we call “The DIGO Standard.” It doesn’t just hang on the walls and sit on our desks and desktops. We use it every day. People who visit often ask for a copy. Here’s yours, and you didn’t even have to ask.
I first wrote about “brand direct” publicly almost twenty years ago. Since then the direct economy has taken over our lives, and just about every industry has been disrupted by it. This has mostly been a very good thing for me, as our clients over the past two decades have been doing more than their share of the disrupting.
Drowning in data, today’s marketers cry out for coherence. Even with programmatic trading desks, dashboards and optimizations, incremental improvements are only detectible to sophisticated machines.
Significant, meaningful, ongoing improvements in marketing efficiency are still possible, however. They simply require more than mere visual and verbal consistency.
The answer begins with a journey of discovery. The path of that journey is the customer journey itself. Together, we learn to see things from the customer’s point of view, from the prospect’s perspective. We uncover the insight – the inspiring idea – that will change and organize everything.
Then, together, we mine that inspiring idea to accelerate growth by up to ten times. Of course, this also dramatically alters the marketer’s journey!
You trek to your local Sleepy’s. You bounce around from bed to bed, testing each out, all under the very ambitious belief that the 3-5 minutes you spend lying down will provide an accurate depiction of what a year’s worth of sleep will be like. Based off of that assumption, you proceed to spend roughly $1,000 on a mattress that you will inevitably have to haul up three flights of stairs, and somehow, some way, manage to fit through your tiny apartment door.
“Maneuver to the left!”
That doesn’t work.
“Tilt it to the right!”
Nope, that doesn’t work either. Eventually, with sore arms and an aching back, you get your overpriced mattress settled in its new home in your bedroom. But your precious Saturday afternoon? That has come and gone.
Enter Casper. An online, direct-economy mattress company that’s waking up a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Adopting the online retail model made famous by eyewear company Warby Parker, Casper is bypassing the middleman and delivering mattresses straight to your bedroom. The mattress, designed with cutting-edge technology, can be folded to fit inside of a box, providing Casper with a delivery capability unrivaled by competitors. Why is that significant? Well, by eliminating the 3rd-party supply cost, Casper can sell their mattress for a much cheaper price, increasing its value and putting smiles on customers’ faces.
For Casper, it was simple. Find out what your consumers are struggling with and provide a solution. By tackling the customer experience issue that has forever been associated with mattress shopping, Casper isolated itself from industry competitors who are still using outdated tactics. Casper put the customer first, and the customers have responded.
With a $55M investment this past June, Casper solidified itself as a pioneer of the direct-model revolution.
Retail giants like Sleepy’s cannot afford to sleep on Casper any longer.
For more on Casper, read our Inspiring Action Case Study HERE.
from: Shontell, Alyson. “There’s A ‘Warby Parker Of Mattresses’ That’s Shipping Fluffy, King-Size Beds In Boxes As Small As Golf Bags.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Sometimes we say, “actions, not ads,” but what if you find yourself working on an ad? What do you do?
Do you feel inspired to see your assignment as an action, not just an ad? Or do you feel like your company doesn’t value what you’re doing?
Does the challenge to make the ad not just creative, on brand, on strategy and effective, but also an action, feel inspiring? Or does it feel like we are freighting a banner or print ad brief with a standard that can only ever apply to a minority of what we do?
I think that sometimes inspiring action means inspiring actions. But sometimes it means ads that inspire action rather than just manipulate or motivate it.
For any given brand, we are likely to do both.
Instead of brand ads and direct ads, we’re doing inspiring actions and we’re inspiring action. Too often, brand ads just tell people what the brand claims to be about. And direct ads just try to bribe or manipulate people into responding.
The same brand could say one thing in its brand ads and act like a completely different company in its direct ads.
We say everything represents the brand. Even a selling email is an action that the company is taking. So, we don’t say, “No emails.” But we do say no brand-killing, manipulative soul-sucking emails.
We are not against ads. We’re against just ads. We’re against the idea that an ad is ever just a means of transmitting the information on the page or screen. Because the very fact of the ad as an action the company is taking speaks volumes about the company.
Are we saying that people think this deeply about ads.?Of course not. But it’s exactly because they react rather than consider, instinctively rather than rationally, that they judge this way.
When we say, “Actions, Not Ads,” we’re acting in a provocative way, hoping to provoke you to higher standards whenever you inspire, write, inform or work off of a brief.