The Art of Negative Marketing

I’ve encountered a lot of different type of people in life. From punk rock shows to church ministry, to corporate boardrooms- Life is full of characters. But no character is more interesting to watch than the villain.

I’ve met a lot of villains. And what most people don’t get- People love a good villain. In Marketing the concept is called: Negative Marketing. And contrary to popular belief by many “Book Marketing Experts” who say – Never be negative. This strategy works.

One way I’ve seen Negative Marketing also tapped as is “Emotional Marketing.”

Graeme Newell introduces us to the concept:
They are the people we love to hate – the daily villains who irritate, nag and bother us. Smart marketers have learned that nothing makes consumers feel better than to ridicule these annoying tormenters who make life hard. This variety of “negative marketing” or “negative branding” is one of the most effective ways to show your customers that you get them, and feel the same things that they do.

There are a lot of people who embrace this role- (Donald Trump anyone…?) Seriously anytime someone freaks out over Trump’s tweets I sit back and smile- Not because I like what he says- But because it’s marketing folks and it’s useful. How do you think he got rural voters to come out in droves in many states? He tapped into their anger.

I know a few authors who embrace this nemesis role in the same way. They love it. They are the Darth Vader to some standing at the end of a dark hallway slowly breathing. They want people to be enraged and flipping out. They want people to grab their hair and rip it from the roots. They love the chaos it creates.

Not because they are naturally a jerk. Most aren’t. But they’re smart- These authors understand that their target audience: Loves it.

You see- Negative marketing looks deep into the darkest emotions that humans have. Rage, jealousy, and disdain. The format is straightforward. Find something that customer’s hate, ridicule the heck out of it, and show your target audience that you get them; that you understand and have the same loathing for the things they hate.

So the next time you get “enraged” by someone on Twitter: Make sure they aren’t using you for their marketing purposes. And if you do take the bait- Well maybe they’re just smart enough to score a few bucks off of you.

Twitter isn’t Dead- Stop Ignoring It

twitter isn't dead
I heard someone the other day tell someone else to ignore twitter: It is a dead platform. Ignore it. REALLY??? I work in marketing for a living, and believe it or not- Twitter is’t dead. Sure it’s had its ups and downs, but so has facebook.

We get in the habit of believing all sorts of nonsense simply because a headline looks attractive.

Authors- Don’t ignore twitter: Because it is not dead. The issue is- People are just to lazy to sit down and learn how to figure it out.

The problem that most folks have with twitter is they don’t understand what makes it work. You see, you can’t use the same voice on twitter as you do on other platforms. Finding the right personality and voice takes time- So no, it isn’t dying- It’s just misunderstood.

One of the biggest mistakes authors make with social media is the belief that social media exist to share your book. Listen, people don’t come to twitter to buy your book. So stop tweeting the never ending tweets that do so. SHARE IT- But don’t over populate my feed.

Instead: Connect, Connect, and Connect. It’s called Social Media for a reason. Earn people’s trust, start conversations, retweet people, and please work to provide valued content.

Every major general market Spec Author I know uses twitter. Follow Sam Sykes,  Chuck Wendig,  John Scalzi,  Brent Weeks, Joe Hill, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Robin Hobb, Christopher PaoliniBrandon Sanderson... Find out what they are doing and why…? Do they cater to themselves, their fans, or the things they are passionate about. You will notice politics, writing advice, and some just having fun- Just learn and decide what kind of digital footprint you want to leave.

But above all else: Always remember- Just be you… You are your Brand.

4 Things I’ve Learned After 11 Years of Working in Marketing

I’ve worked in Marketing for Eleven Years now. I’ve made mistakes- I’ve Fixed others Mistakes- And I’ve learned from Mistakes. However, one secret I know is this-

Marketing is not that hard.

It really isn’t. I think we have a tendency to make it harder than it really is. But the truth is: all you need are a few basic things-

One: A good product

Two: A passion for your product

Three: An ability to overcome the fear and share.

When most people ask me how much they should spend on marketing their books, products, etc. I tell them unless you have the money- You should only spend your time.

Sounds strange. But so many get ahead of themselves. Put your money in the production of the product FIRST. A well-edited book with a great cover will do more for you. If you have money left over, invest what you can in marketing.

Here are four things I’ve learned by being in upper management that anyone can do on any budget.

  1. Find what works for you and stick with it consistently.

Our company specializes in Direct Mail. It’s what most of you would call junk mail. But we have mastered it. Everything from creative design to programming mailing lists, to the production of envelopes, applications, brochures, etc is done in house. We even fold, insert, and sort all our mail down to a specific postal carrier route. We have mastered it by bringing everything in-house. We send out 3.5 Million pieces of mail each week. (YES- You read that right.) We know what works for us and we have a concept:

“How do we get you to open up the envelope without tricking you?”

  1. Your Fans / Clients / and Existing Customers- when satisfied will be your Number 1 point of future sales. (Click to Tweet This)

Here’s something. We market to our existing customers. We spend a lot of time and product development in marketing to the family members of existing customers who have been loyal for years. These products are some of our biggest sales. That’s not just us. Any large successful business does the same thing. Word of mouth is the biggest friend you can have. Find your fans- Build that email list- And hold on tight to them.

  1. Frequency- Frequency- Frequency:

Listen- Only Impulse Buyers buy the first time- 85% of the rest of the market need to see it more than once. Now please understand something. We don’t mail each customer every week. Sometimes it’s simply once a month. However, we hit them more than once. If you are a writer or entrepreneur don’t make every facebook, Tweet, or Instagram post about your book or product. After a while I’m going to be like: “Yeah, I get it.” But don’t ever go silent. Push it and don’t be afraid to push it.

  1. Test your control strategy against a test strategy:

We test everything. We have packages that have worked for years- But that doesn’t mean we stop brainstorming new ideas and concepts. Try one thing one day. The next week at the same time- Try something else. Test your results. Test your reach. Don’t shy away from data- It may not always tell the right story, but it can be eye-opening when it tells the same story consistently.