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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Sep 27, 2016 7 min read

Inbound Marketing People Love Advertising, If It Works

Show Me The Numbers And I’m All In On Advertising

TheMostInterestingMan.jpgOne of my favorite ad campaigns (and perhaps it’s one of yours too) is the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man In The World" campaign. Some of you might know they’ve decided to end the decade-long campaign in exchange for some other options. This prompted me to wonder, “How successful was it?” Not from a branding or awareness perspective, but from a “did it drive sales?" perspective.

Here’s what I found. In 2009, the craft beer craze dramatically impacted beer imported into the U.S. Sales fell across the category by 4%. But not for Dos Equis. This brand saw an increase of 22%, which most believe to be attributed to the successful ad campaign.

The brand's strong results have continued since. According to USA Today, sales for the company’s Lager Especial were up 10% last year, and since 2007 sales are up 34.8%. This might not seem like much, but these are incredibly high numbers when you compare them to the poor state of mass-market beer vs. craft breweries and craft brands.

For the record, I think it should be clear that I’m not against agency advertising, but I am against marketing that doesn’t produce sales. So in this case, how can you not be supportive of a creative campaign that clearly moved the needle?

Here’s why I think this advertising did something most other advertising almost never does.

It Was Remarkable

Compared to all the other beer advertisements, you have a dramatic departure from the party persona most beer companies wanted in their advertising. The ads were more about the life you want to lead as opposed to the life you were living. It didn’t have a dog, a girl in a bikini, guys watching football or a story about how the beer was crafted. Instead, it painted a remarkable picture of who a potential consumer aspired to be.

It Was Honest

It finished with, “I don’t always drink beer.” How refreshing! No pun intended. Who always drinks beer? Most of us who like beer also drink other adult beverages, and here was a spokesman admitting it. There is actually science behind this. People are statistically more likely to be persuaded by people who honestly admit that they don’t know all the answers. It makes them more authentic and allows us to trust them more.

It Told A Story

business-story-resized-600.jpgThis is definitely one of the strongest aspects of the ad campaign. The ads actually specialized in building the story and showing ALL the different remarkable things this guy did during his life. It was a collection of bucket list items, some so ridiculously over the top you had to notice them, talk about them with your friends and share the story.

A key aspect of great marketing is it creates the story associated with the brand and builds a story that the target prospect can directly connect with. In this case, we all wanted to live a life like this guy. Who wouldn’t want that? It drew us in, it connected emotionally and it was easy to remember. Those are all qualities of good storytelling and a solid marketing strategy.

It Made The Consumer The Hero

A lot of beer brands attempt to make the consumer the hero by placing us at huge parties with celebrities, at sporting events or enjoying experiences like understanding how the beer is made, but this series of marketing messaging did it better than most.

Everyone wants to live an exciting life and the selection of experiences that “the most interesting man in the world” took place in appealed to almost everyone. Travel, sports, women, exotic locations, meeting with dignitaries and impacting history. It was unmatched in its ability to tell a story that would potentially place all of us in these incredibly life-changing events.

Making your prospects the hero in your stories is critical. Your prospects have to feel what their life will be like after they do business with you. What will their world look like if they work with you? It’s what this ad did better than any other ad out there.

It Drove Results

But advertising without results is not good advertising. I’m not talking about awards; I’m talking about sales. Marketing has but one goal — drive revenue. There are gobs of funny ads that never produce any results. Businesses today are demanding more from their ad agencies. Put butts in seats, move more inventory, reduce our sales cycle, etc. These are the results marketing agencies and marketing people should be responsible for delivering.

I love inbound marketing because it allows many businesses that can’t afford a big ad campaign and a big ad agency to apply some of the same thinking in a more targeted, more efficient way. With inbound, businesses can execute remarkables, tell a story, be authentic, make their customers the hero in their own story and drive results.

Take the best of this example of successful advertising and blend it with inbound marketing, and you’ll be well on your way toward marketing that connects people with your company and your brand. More importantly, you’ll have marketing that generates leads and helps you close those leads so you can grow your business.

Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.