The world of marketing is evolving. And it’s not just a matter of social media campaigns replacing TV commercials anymore. An entirely new approach to marketing is being pioneered, in which traditional marketing methods and digital marketing tactics may be more closely integrated than ever before, each one being used to boost the other, to get the most leverage possible from both.
I like to describe my own personal approach to marketing with a metaphor: squeezing every last drop of juice from the orange. Why waste any opportunity to get more juice from your marketing efforts?
One company in particular has a fierce dedication to this new, tightly integrated approach to marketing. ZAK Products, manufacturer of the official professional maintenance fluid of NASCAR, focuses on taking advantage of every possible opportunity to get more juice from their marketing activities. Here are three takeaways from ZAK’s approach that you can apply in your own business—and squeeze more out of your own orange.
1. Weave digital and traditional together seamlessly to create an experience.
For Vic Keller, founder of ZAK Products, online and offline marketing both have the same end goal. “My aim in marketing, whether digital or traditional, is to create an experience for the customer,” Keller explains. “Our partnership with NASCAR is an opportunity for auto technicians to say, 'I use NASCAR products.' And anything digital is an opportunity to get engagement—for customers to have an experience with our brand online.”
Leveraging both approaches back and forth seems to be the logical next step. ZAK’s NASCAR partnership meant that it made sense for them to jump into the recent online conversation about the theft of Team Xtreme’s No. 44 Sprint Cup car right before the race. Keller offered a reward via social media for any information leading to its recovery—a free Pit Pass to every remaining Sprint Cup in the 2015 season. Suddenly, ZAK customers were plunged into the exciting experience of becoming a part of the story, online and offline, with the possibility of being a real-life hero, and receiving an actual reward.
The key, Keller maintains, is to stay nimble enough to take advantage of opportunities like this that pop up, through both avenues. It’s all about taking what’s relevant—what makes sense—and making it an exciting, integrated experience for the customer.
2. Lead through branding.
Described by his employees as a "branding fanatic," Keller has been focused on crafting just the right brand experience for ZAK customers from the very beginning. Where most new companies’ first order of business would be hiring a salesperson, Keller’s first hire was a creative director.
“What we aim for is to get people excited about our products and what we do," Keller says. "We want to be a category of one, from a competitor standpoint. We want to lead through branding. Salespeople often say ABC—Always Be Closing. Well, I say Always Be Branding.”
Every marketing tactic ZAK Products uses—whether sponsoring a UFC fighter and then tweeting about it, or giving ZAK-branded swag to visiting customers—is geared toward strengthening and further defining the ZAK brand. By immersing people in a 360 degree brand experience online and off, the company creates intensely loyal customers, diehard fans of ZAK Products who feel a strong personal connection to the brand.
3. Culture is the cornerstone of all marketing.
For ZAK Products, traditional marketing provides a company’s roots. It creates the environment and atmosphere of a business, starting with the name tags employees wear, moving all the way up to the spokespeople representing the company.
The digital approach, on the other hand, is more dynamic, always looking not just to stay abreast of the current trends, but to get ahead of current thought, and be over-the-top relevant in the industry. Both, however, are geared toward one thing: creating a consistent company culture.
ZAK Products believes that marketing doesn’t just begin and end with the customer, but rather that marketing should be just as much about how a company presents itself to prospective new hires and the workplace environment it provides for its employees. While the results of shaping a unique company culture may not be directly measurable, its overall effect on growth is undeniable.
Your takeaways? Create a consistent company culture through your traditional and digital marketing activities, and turn every possible opportunity into an integrated, brand-focused experience for your customers. Leverage the power of traditional marketing in your online activities, and the strengths of digital marketing in your offline efforts—and you may find that you, too, will start squeezing more juice out of that orange.
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Photo: Getty Images; Zak Products