I was speaking to 600 marketers last week and dropped a little shade on the four Ps of marketing (Promotion, Product, Price and Place). In my session, I said that the four Ps were dead and that inbound marketing is the replacement for this thinking.
I do still believe this, but I couldn’t help noticing a product packaging example that felt more like inbound marketing than traditional marketing.
Some of you might think this is a stretch, and maybe it's more of an example of remarkable packaging than inbound marketing. Regardless, I like Inbound Unwound to have a breadth of content. So today, I bring you the insight on how packaging can have just as much of an impact on sales as the actual product, price or marketing does.
The Greek yogurt market is a multibillion-dollar opportunity for companies. If you’ve ever purchased yogurt, you know how many different brands, flavors and product types there are on the shelves. Take a look at the cluttered community of Greek yogurts I found at the local Wegmans.
If you look closely, you’ll see one area that looks a bit different than the others. In the sea of lavender, white, peach and yellow packages, there's a black label. Yes, one yogurt company dared to be different by packaging its beautiful, white yogurt in a black container.
One might even say it's remarkable.
What's more remarkable is the impression it had on me.
I like Greek yogurt, but like many people, I’m not really brand-loyal. I’m constantly scanning the shelves, trying to decide which option to buy. On this trip to the supermarket, though, I knew what I was looking for because I had previously seen this: Dannon Oikos' website promoting its triple zero product in a black container.
So, when I showed up at the store and stood in front of the overwhelming, confusing and anxiety-inducing Greek yogurt section, I simply said to myself, “Look for the black container.” I found it in seconds and bought three of them. Mission accomplished. On to produce.
Now, how do we get other people to think like this marketing crew?
It’s OK To Be Different
Think about the meeting to discuss the packaging design. What about the woman who said, “Let’s make the container black.” How many people do you think told her she was silly for suggesting such a ridiculous idea? Yet, her idea helped the product stand out. It appealed to her persona (me), and most importantly, it made it easy for me to find and buy the product. Great marketing always converts to revenue.
Make Your Marketing About Your Prospects
Oikos made their marketing about me, not about them. Today, more and more men are eating yogurt, so a black container isn’t so crazy.
They partnered with the NFL, created a more masculine package and used the idea to create something that clearly stands out on the shelves. As human beings, we want to buy products that we’re comfortable with and work with people whom we're comfortable with. By making this easy for me, Dannon Oikos gets my business.
Understand Your Prospects’ Experiences
Oikos understood the situation in the Greek yogurt aisle. They know it’s a crowded category and shelf. They also know that when people are presented with overwhelming tasks, like finding a needle in a haystack of yogurt containers, they often check out and end up buying the first thing they get their hands on, whether they want that brand or not.
Our brains are organs that get tired quickly. There’s only so much energy we'll extend trying to find the right yogurt brand. We give up (and quickly) when we have 56 other items to buy at the supermarket.
These guys seem to understand me. They adjusted their packaging to my experience and made it easy for me to find their needle in this haystack.
Make Marketing Accountable For Revenue
Marketing hates sales, and sales hates marketing. Sound familiar? Those days are over. You need a single revenue team, a team of marketing and sales people working together with only one goal: to drive revenue. The reality is that marketing needs sales, and sales needs marketing. The faster you push them together and get them working cohesively, the faster you’ll hit your revenue goals.
Now, I don’t know if the brand manager at Oikos is responsible for revenue, but she should see a revenue jump as a result of their new packaging and prospect-focused marketing. In fact, whoever suggested to make the packaging black should get a lot of the credit.
But, by making the marketing team responsible and accountable for revenue, just like the sales team is, your company evolves. The revenue team works together day in and day out to create marketing that directly drives sales. That’s what you want at your company.
The world of marketing has changed dramatically, and even big brands like this are seeing the impact. Today, it’s less about price, discounts and audience interruption. It's more about earning a prospect’s attention, telling a compelling story and making it easy to purchase. Big brands can learn a lot from people practicing inbound marketing.
Start Today Tip – Think differently about marketing and sales. Just because you’ve done something for the last ten years doesn’t mean it’s still the right way to go. There are no “sacred cows” in business. All of the marketing tactics should be able to justify their own existence. I love it when clients tell me they need to attend that one trade show that never gets them any leads, because if they don’t go, people will think they’re out of business. Wrong! What if people actually think you're super smart for not wasting money on a trade show that generates no business opportunities? Don’t do something just because other people do it. Do what works and stop doing what doesn’t.
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