Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Social Marketing Still Requires A Purple Cow

Social Marketing Still Requires A Purple Cow

If you have been around marketing for a while,
that title isn't much of a surprise to you. On the
other hand many still aren't all that familiar with
Seth Godin and his Purple Cow principle.

It goes like this.

If you drive by the average farm, cows are so
commonplace that you don't really notice them.

But if you drove by and saw a Purple Cow, then
you would sit up and take notice. No doubt you
would tell everybody you came in contact with
about that Purple Cow that you saw. You wouldn't
be the only one either, and this would create a buzz
that would spread exponentially.

Virally you might say...

This concept has made a lot of people a lot of
fungolas with so called Purple Cow marketing
campaigns. Today however, with everybody
hitting Social Marketing with a sledgehammer
the importance of having a Unique Sales Proposal
(or USP) has slipped a lot of people's minds.

It shouldn't!

Just as the internet is just a tool, Social Marketing
methods are also just tools. They do nothing to
change the fact that your marketing message
needs to have it very own Purple Cow, or USP.

Now think about how quickly a Purple Cow ad
campaign can go viral using Social Marketing tools.

Want an example?

Okay, maybe you have heard of Jason Moffat.
His YouTube videos are hilarious! They get
tons of views and he sells affiliate products like
few crazy. Take a look at this one:

The particular offer that this promoted is over,
but I will guarantee that Jason's sales were in the
top 10% of all affiliates. Note that his "Prostate
Exam" got over 24,000 views. This is definitely
a Purple Cow approach to marketing.

Am I suggesting that you do something this shocking
to promote your campaigns? That is up to you!

Shocking is relative. Sometimes what will stand
out is not as over the top. Another YouTube video
that stands out is something that Seth Godin himself
has pointed to:

Who would think of running an iPhone through a
blender? The guy that did has gotten not 24,000
views, but in excess of 4,000,000 views!

Their site is listed in their YouTube profile as Blendtec
and has an Alexa rank of 117,028. Wanna bet they're
selling some blenders?

YouTube isn't the only Social Media site where it is
possible to start a Purple Cow ad campaign, but it
is a great one. The challenge is to use the unique
qualities of each to greatest advantage.

Take Twitter for instance.

It is the most widely used platform for microblogging
right now. How can you use their 140 characters to
make a marketing statement that will stand out in
a field like a Purple Cow? There are a growing number
of apps out there built just to maximize the Twitter
experience. Maybe they can help...

What about Digg? Can you make your profile, or
your Diggs themselves into a USP?

Hopefully this post will start your own creative
juices flowing. I know it isn't my first post on this
subject, but it is one of the toughest challenges
that we face as marketers. Creating buzz!

That's why I have a ceramic cow on my desk!

Guess what color she is...

Eat a peach!

Floyd Bogart


showpup said...

Thanks for this very interesting reminder, Floyd. We can all use a little purple in our online lives!

Jason Moffatt said...

Hey Floyd,

Thanks for the plug pal.

However it may shock you that the video of the prostate exam didn't exactly do that well in terms of affiliate sales.

It did get a lot of attention, and I do still get residual sales of $20 or so a month, but I didn't clean house on that promotion.

One thing that is important to remember is that funny or shocking videos don't always translate into lot's of sales.

In fact, many times the humor can take away from the main focus of the pitch. And I think that may have been what happened on that promo.

Also, I didn't push that promo hard at all. So that has a bit to do with the dismal results.

And while that video didn't crush it, and make a ton of money, some of the other youtube videos with much less viewers did.

It's a mixed bag sometimes what works and what doesn't.

But I surely know one method that will fail every time, and that's doing NOTHING.

I just try to have fun, and point people in the direction of true value.

Again, thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

Jason Moffatt

PS: Funny thing is if you search Mike Woo-Ming in Google, that video with the thumbnail image shows up on the first page in the "Universal Results".

How awesome is that!

And I'm not sure how family friendly your blog is, but that video also ranks super high for a very perverted phrase. I'll spare you readers the gruesome details.

Floyd Bogart said...

Thanks Jason for stopping by to comment!

There you have it!

My assumption may have been wrong about that one video, but I stand by what I said, as it is definitely the kind of innovative approach that gets results, views, sales...

I advise all that read this to keep watching what Jason does and learn from it! Not to copy, but to be inspired.

More soon...

Anthony said...

Dear Floyd,

I tried to watch the Jason Moffat's YouTube, but it show that the video is no longer available.


Anthony said...

Sorry, Floyd.

I think I made a mistake. It's back ^^


Floyd Bogart said...

NP Anthony.

Glad you are getting to see it.
A great example of either Purple Cow Marketing or Guerrilla Marketing, or maybe both!

Ruth said...

Very interesting, the purple cow thing, now the challenge:

Where can one effectively advertise a purple cow campaign without dying with excessive ppc charges?

Floyd Bogart said...


Go HERE and grab all of Scott Boulch's ebooks free! Particularly the two part series "The Quick & The Dead".

I think you'll learn a lot about getting around the rising cost of PPC.


Floyd Bogart

TheGreenbush said...

I love the idea of the purple cow and viral marketing. Every company out there would love to have that one golden egg that put their product on the map. However, it's easier said than done to come up with something people will be talking about. Truth is there are thousands of attempts made that fail or even end up backfiring. Don't forget your traditional marketing forms (search engine optimization, pay per click management, etc) because those can create a more consistent stream of traffic than relying on that one big idea to take you to the promise land. Great post though.