Today begins the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, in which small groups of bulls are let loose in the streets while white-clothed runners try to stay ahead of, on top of, or pretty much anywhere but under the bulls’ hooves.
It started out as a boring thing – a way to get the animals from the corral to the bullring. Then runners unexpectedly began joining the journey to the ring and now … The story of Pamplona and the running of the bulls has been memorialized by Hemingway and captures worldwide attention each year.
This past week, our top mature marketing content item was all about the unexpected. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs and fantastic source of marketing insights, told blog readers that the key to “Breaking Out of Boring” was to “Tell Unexpected Stories.”
It was by far the most re-tweeted, favorited and clicked item on Creating Results’ social networks these past weeks.
Many brands wish they could break out of boring, but they believe they don’t have the flash of major consumer products or they operate in highly-regulated industries. Ann says LinkedIn “has become the poster child for a staid brand evolving its brand by telling unexpected stories.”
How does LinkedIn do it? Here are her three take-aways:
1) Tap into broad, universal themes. Ann’s example was of a musician’s story that tapped into the idea of ambition. For senior living, there are many aspirational ideas that elders relate to — choose the ones that help them imagine a better quality of life in your community.
2) Put the customer at the story’s center. As Ann writes, “Paradoxically, your “story” is not about you—it’s about what you do for others.”
Personally, I see this as the no-bull clause (pun intended). It is especially important for marketing to baby boomers. They’re not the me-generation the media portrays them as, but they won’t buy unless they know what you’ll do for them. Sharing the customer’s story (and therefore yours) also is more authentic. Remember: boomers were the first generation to be mass-marketed to; they can smell a phony a mile away.
3) Have a kick-ass call to action.
What makes a call to action kick-ass? Click here to read Ann’s post and find out.
A few more attention-getting / attention-worthy items:
* A new report from the US Census Bureau reveals interesting trends among Americans age 65+, and NextAvenue summarizes some highlights: http://bit.ly/1j8kvXS
– For instance, while labor force participation by men over 65 years old has dropped “precipitously” since 1950, participation by women of the same age has increased.
– From 2000 to 2010, the 65+ population grew by 15.1 percent overall. Where will you find older adults? Try Florida, the state with the highest percentage of residents 65 and over (17.3 percent). West Virginia and Maine rank #2 and #3 for highest percentage of 65+ers. The states with the lowest: Alaska (7.7 percent), followed by Utah and Texas.
– Social Security remains a critical source of income for older adults, especially the poorest Americans, as the chart below illustrates.
* From the blog “vaults”: 10 practical PR tips for developers of 55+ and senior living communities: http://bit.ly/1qbkykx
* A look at DC’s newest metro line, the “colossal” expectations for it, and how it could shape the future of the American suburb: http://bit.ly/1qDAlLe
RELATED: A scholar is quoted in the article as saying “That’s where the market wants to be: in these walkable, urban locations.” Creating Results’ Todd Harff took a look at a critical part of that market — older adults — in last year’s post What Do Baby Boomers Want In a Home?
* Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology): Old school marketing yells and sells. Content marketing says, “I might have a solution that can help you.”
Could Creating Results have a solution to help you and your colleagues achieve your goals? Check out our content — new case studies! — for some ideas and inspiration, then give us a call at 888-205-8899.