Salesforce: Create your own PR Today there are over 5,000 marketing technology companies. They’ve almost all been created in the last few years. Software as a Services (SaaS) didn’t even exist until Salesforce launched in 2000 with the idea of “no software.” Previously, software was bought and sold as a big, one-time product purchase or license. But us old people remember these good old days! Salesforce was trying to eclipse the competition to create a brand new market. Michelin Guide: Use content marketing to fuel demand Saying that “content marketing” is important today would be the understatement of the year. This sounds an awful lot like another famous, mysterious man in an ad campaign. The man in the Hathaway shirt and The Most Interesting Man in the World both use sophistication and storytelling to get people to pay attention. My favorite example is free software tools that people can use to get instant feedback. You’re getting a ton of real-time feedback that points out everything you need to know about improving your site to bring in more traffic and customers.
We obsess over tiny tactics.
For example, it’s common to spend too much time on individual keyword rankings for a single blog post.
Sure, those tiny details are important.
However, if we spend all of our time and resources chasing the 10% improvements, we’ll never have enough time and energy to go after the big 1,000% ones.
That’s a shame. Why?
Because you often see the biggest impact from large campaigns.
One coordinated investment of time, energy, and money can create a huge splash — new brand awareness, leads, links, followers, and of course, new customers.
There’s a lot of risks associated with putting all of your eggs in one metaphorical basket.
You can’t afford to fail.
The good news is that you can follow the leads of other companies that have already paved the way.
I’m going to show you a few of my favorite massive marketing splashes from other companies.
And then I’ll give you a few ideas for how you can replicate the same thing (on a fraction of the budget).
1. Salesforce: Create your own PR
Today there are over 5,000 marketing technology companies.
Do you want to hear the craziest part, though?
None of these existed a decade or two ago. They’ve almost all been created in the last few years.
And this is only the rather small ‘marketing technology’ industry. So it doesn’t include all of the other SaaS-based businesses addressing other industries out there.
Software as a Services (SaaS) didn’t even exist until Salesforce launched in 2000 with the idea of “no software.”
Previously, software was bought and sold as a big, one-time product purchase or license. Then you’d typically have to download or install the program from a CD-ROM.
Some millennials reading this have an idea what I’m talking about right now. But us old people remember these good old days!
Salesforce had been toiling away for months in secrecy (in the traditionally old, pre-Lean Startup) before finally launching with a bang in 2000.
They were unveiling the first SaaS product of its kind, a revolutionary idea where customers would only pay a fraction of the usual cost on a monthly basis for an ‘always updated’ version of the software.
Salesforce wanted a massive product launch that would accurately show the size and scope of what they were trying to do.
Listen to this unbelievable scene:
Salesforce launched at the Regency Theater and had a surprise for all guests attending. They turned the lower level of the theater into a space that resembled Enterprise Software aka ‘Hell’, [sic] their [sic] were screaming salespeople actors in cages and games such as wacka-mole [sic] where the moles were other software companies. Once they made their way through the dirt, they ascended to find Salesforce.com.
That sounds insane now, right?
But what they were doing at the time was pretty revolutionary.
Their goal was to create something over the top that stood out. I’d say they achieved that, wouldn’t you?
This was the first time they also started running with the “No Software” slogan.
This wasn’t even the best part.
They also ran an ad campaign that featured a sleek, new, technologically advanced fighter jet, chasing down a biplane before violently shooting it down.
While it’s not exactly subtle, the biplane was supposed to represent the software industry that couldn’t keep up with Salesforce.
All of these outlandish tactics served a point.
Salesforce was trying to eclipse the competition to create a brand new market.
They had to change consumer’s expectations, which is one of the hardest things to accomplish.
That’s why Salesforce embarked on such an aggressive path.
They needed customers to understand the value and significance of what they were doing. Not to mention, they had to actually convince them enough to switch over.
Obviously, you don’t have to go to these extreme lengths.
For example, when I was recently out promoting my book, Hustle, I went for a full-on press blitz.
That started with blog posts on my own sites with custom packages for people who purchase multiple copies.
Then that included working with the press. For example, we posted on Time.
And tons of other sites like Forbes, too.
2. Chipotle: Create a movement
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why became an international bestseller almost the moment it was introduced.
The premise is incredibly simple (and if you’re not a reader, his excellent Ted Talk sums it up in just a few minutes).
Simon says that most companies talk about “what” they do — they make computers.
Some other companies will talk about “how” they do it — using some state of the art technology or process.
But neither of those things compel users to care.
For example, remember the old days when MP3 players first came out? (I’m dating myself again, aren’t I?)
They all talked about having “30GB” of storage or using some special technology to make sure your data was secure.
But it wasn’t until Apple came out with “1,000 songs in your pocket” that MP3 players hit the mass market.
That’s because Apple talks about “why they do” something, which resonates with customers.
My favorite example of this was Chipotle’s The Scarecrow film.
If you haven’t seen it, take a few minutes to watch it right now. It’s incredible.
I’m not the only one who thinks that. It’s been viewed over 18,247,736 times!
The short film shows a scarecrow who works at a meat processing plant. The plant is less than truthful about where their products come from.
It then walks you through examples of animals being treated cruelly.
The scarecrow is upset until he comes back to his farm and picks a bright, fresh, flavorful pepper.
That epiphany compels him to open his own fresh, burrito shop in the middle of an urban city.
Chipotle, here, is the good guy. They’re the savior in a world full of ‘bad actors’ and companies who mistreat the product that they’re serving to customers.
Chipotle’s CMO, Mark Crumpacker, gives some evidence of the initial inspiration.
“The film depicts the elaborate facade that’s been created by the industrial food producers, who have done a very good job of creating a rosy picture of their industry.”
The film was universally loved by all critics, even winning an Emmy and Cannes Lions award.
Instead of focusing the attention on themselves, they went squarely after the enemy.