What We Can Learn from Queen of All Media about Marketing
Love her or hate her, it is undeniable the influence and power Oprah Winfrey has on popular culture, media and business strategy.
From the first part of this series, we've established that not only is she a marketing rebel, but also incredibly insightful into creating personal connections and trust with her audience.
Here is Part 2 of 15 tips marketers can learn from Oprah.
7. Create a Recognizable (and relatable!) Brand
Become unique in your niche. Become a standard to which your competitors strive to be. Become something that your customers rely on and continuously return to. Become something that new, potential customers come to because it's out there and is consistent.
8. Network Like Crazy
Create connections. Create connections within your industry. Create connections within your company. Nurture relationships, especially those that seem counterintuitive. Networking drives not only your business but also customers.
9. Dream Big
Say your company sells shoes targeted at teens. Beyond your usual customer, what is the ultimate dream of your company? Providing shoes for every child in North America? What about providing shoes for every single child in the world? To you, what dream makes your company worthwhile? What dream ensures that your staff and customers feel fulfilled? By dreaming, you're limitless. Think beyond the bottom line, and surely think beyond your current reach. Without dreams, you will never grow, adapt and have the opportunity to give back
10. Understand Your Audience
Your customers have (or ought to have) more influence over your products and services more than you think. Even with your long-term marketing is already indirectly influenced by your customers. What Oprah does is listen intently to what her audience wants, and she gives it to them. Does it affect her brand? Yes, of course. However, taking it a step further is to understand them thoroughly.
11. Embrace Controversy
Oprah never shies away from anything controversial. If anything, she embraces it with open arms. Why? Because talking about issues that are hard, always brings some sort of resolution and stimulating discussion. If your company faces something challenging, take it headfirst rather than hiding from it. Acknowledge it and make changes. Don't rely on denial or spinsters to cover your tracks. From this, you gain respect and trust. And, ultimately, you learn.
12. Use All Forms of Technology
From interactive websites to constantly updating social media pages, Oprah and her team embraced what technology is new and hot. Her team recognized the power of having a website even before it became commonplace. Just before the explosion of apps on mobile devices became the next big thing in marketing, Oprah jumped on it. Whatever technology is about to launch, take advantage of it. Further, Oprah never let go of her roots: she maintained all channels of technology, even those deemed "out-of-touch" or "dead," like her magazine because she understood that different audiences interact differently. What to learn? Embrace the new, maintain the old.
13. Cultivate Business Partnerships (Affiliates)
With a strong brand, name, recognition level and customer reliability, affiliates and partners will flock in droves to be associated with you. But first, ensure that your brand is something that is desired. Reach out to similar businesses so that it becomes easier to cross-promote. Reach out to businesses and organizations that stem from your charity work. What Oprah does best is create partnerships. These partnerships are based not only on promotion and association, but also on friendship. Take a page out of her book, and understand that any relationship begins with friendship and understanding.
14. Be Limitless in Your Reach
Much like dreaming big, pushing the boundaries of how your products, services, and company touches lives is more important to your bottom line. Yes, this is a constant theme in these blogs, but it remains just as relevant and powerful. Think about your products helping, changing and reinforcing your customers. Move beyond the practicality of what you do; move to greatness.
15. Roll With Customer (Audience) Demands
Oprah listens and interacts with her audience, perhaps even more than any other "business" in the world. Sure, she has her own agenda, but fundamentally, what her audience wants, they get. Oprah understands the power of her audience, and has acknowledged over and over again, that without them, she wouldn't be where she is today. What your customers want from you, listen and try to meet their needs. Final Thoughts: What to take away from the ending of Oprah's daytime dynasty is to look at how it was celebrated. Don't you want that sort of legacy? Don't you want to endure? Don't you want what you've done for your customers and clients to last? Don't you want to make a lasting difference?
If anything to take away from the incredible impact that Oprah has had on the world, including creating an incredible lasting brand is that everything that you do within your business is beyond the bottom line.
Create something more than your products, services, profit, and marketing; create change.
Also, acknowledge the people that helped you become successful. Publicly. Privately. Whatever. You're not where you are or where you're going to be without those crucial people. (By the way, handwritten thank you notes go farther than you could even imagine!)
We hope these 15 tips that Oprah has taught us to inspire you in your day-to-day marketing efforts.