What can you possibly learn about Internet Marketing from my underwear? A LOT. So stick with me until the end. I promise you’ll be enlightened.
Ok, now let me help you make sense of what may otherwise seem like an attention grabbing headline.
You see, I’m a runner. Not what you would call a professional runner, just an exercise buff. I run at least 4 days a week, at least 4 miles each day. Sometime sprints, sometimes a jog, sometimes something in between.
While running, I almost always listen to a great podcast that I love called Stuff You Should Know. It’s fantastic: educational, entertaining and covers a wide range of topics that helps expand my knowledge of the world we live in.
As you might expect, this podcast has sponsors — advertisers. One of those sponsors is MeUndies.com. Their claim to fame is that they sell ‘the most comfortable underwear in the world’.
Now, I had never given a second thought to my “common”, Target-brand underwear. I never thought it was uncomfortable or lacking in any way. I mean, it’s just underwear. Who cares, right?
But as I’m running and listening to this podcast, the guys who run the podcast (Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant) pause to talk about their underwear sponsor. One of the guys (Chuck) says that he wears MeUndies now and can attest to the fact that they’re the most comfortable he’s ever worn. That they ‘whisk away sweat’ and never chafe or sag, etc. The bottom line — he loves them.
I hear these ads again and again, as I run multiple times a week and listen to the podcast every time. The first time I hear the ad, I ignore it (as most people would). The second time I ignore it. The third, the fourth, etc. Over and over I keep hearing how great these undewear are, but I don’t need underwear so I ignore it — or so I think.
Of course, being a marketer I am well aware of the fact that either 1) MeUndies sent Chuck some free samples that he can try for himself or 2) he’s just lying to support the sponsor. I don’t believe he’s just lying because I’ve listened to Chuck for years and he really comes across as a stand-up guy. He speaks what he thinks, and that always comes through. Although I don’t know him personally, he certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would lie for a sponsor.
Finally, after hearing the ads again and again and again, I decide to give MeUndies a try. Lo and behold, they are indeed the most comfortable undewear I’ve ever worn. Now I won’t buy anything else.
So what does my underwear choice have to do with your online business? Everything!
Take a look at the four lessons my underwear-changing experience teaches you:
#1 – Create A Need And Fill It
Did I need to change my underwear? Has it really made a huge difference in my life? Was it something that I really had a problem with that I was desperate to solve?
No, of course not. It’s underwear.
But MeUndies has a very compelling message — especially for me as an exercise buff (I won’t go into detail of why undewear matters when you excercise a lot — gross!) Because their message is compelling, it created a need in my brain that hadn’t previously existed.
Being a marketer, I’m usually pretty immune to this because I know the tricks. But I’m also a human being, so it still works sometimes.
So make sure that the message you’re crafting to sell your products and services is compelling — so compelling that it can create a need in people’s minds where one didn’t exist before.
#2 – Repeat Your Message Again And Again
I ignored the podcast ad at least the first five or six times I heard it. But the more I heard it, the more it sank into my brain, and the more compelling it became.
In time, when I finally did need new undies, what did my mind naturally think of? The product with the compelling message.
The lesson here is to repeat your message again and again to your target market. Probably the best way to do that is to get them on your email list and repeat your message to them over and over. It takes time for people to come around and decide to buy. Don’t expect them to pull out their wallets the first time.
#3 – Have Trustworthy Individuals Provide Testimonials
I’ve been marketing online long enough to know that a lot of marketers (unfortunately) either bend the truth or completely mangle it in order to make a sale. I’m also not so naive to think that people aren’t willing to lie in a “testimonial” to help a sponsor that’s putting cash in their pocket.
Because I trusted Chuck as an individual, having listened to his podcast for years and come to “know” his personality enough to feel pretty positive that he wouldn’t lie to sell a product for a sponsor, I believed him when he spoke well about the product. I was more inclined to give it a shot because he said it was great.
So whenever possible, get trustworthy people to give you testimonials about your products and services. Customers and clients are great for this, because they’re real people you’ve actually done business with in the past. Use their words and show their faces if possible. Make them real to your audience. It builds trust and helps sell your product.
#4 – Above All, Have A Great Product
This last lesson should go without saying, but it’s important. Let’s say I’d given MeUndies a try and it was not a great product — wasn’t even a good product. Would all of the other things the sponsor did right result in long-term success? No.
In fact, it would have hurt the reputation of every sponsor for the podcast. I’d be far less likely to believe Chuck the next time he talked about how great some sponsored product was. And I wouldn’t be the only one.
So no matter how good your marketing skills are, you need to apply them to a great product if you want to succeed long-term. That’s probably the most important lesson here.
Are you amazed at how much you can learn from my choice in underwear? Are you appalled that I would use it as a marketing lesson? Do you have any personal experiences you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear all about it in a comment. Please post it below!