Former music marketer Scott Stratten is firmly in the social camp that advocates genuine, interesting, carefully planned content over masses of spam fired randomly in the hope some of it will stick.
Those in media jobs should take note.
Scott’s currently the President of UnMarketing – an expert in viral, social and authentic marketing, that he charmingly refers to as ‘UnMarketing’; which, simply put, is all about positioning your brand and business as the expert customers will turn to when they need the services you offer.
He’s very definitely not a fan of the unplanned ‘suck it and see’ school of marketing and feels that engaging and interacting with your audiences, and being genuine with them, is the key to making sure they opt for you over your competitors. His most recent book, The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome is actually two tomes in one and it aims to show businesses how to become awesome, by looking at train-wreck examples of the thoroughly unawesome.
What’s His Big Idea?
After graduating from Sheridan College, where he returned and held a professorship and taught HR and employment law, Stratten worked for several big Canadian names, including Goodwill Industries and Polyair as well as Sheridan. He set up his ‘unagency’ UnMarketing in early 2002 and ran it for nearly 10 years before specializing in speaking at events for companies including PepsiCo, Adobe, Red Cross, Saks Fifth Avenue and Cirque du Soleil to help guide them through the minefield that is viral and social media.
He explains why he decided to write the book and show businesses the way in black and white.
“I wanted originally to just write about all the awesome in business and how to find those nuggets in your company,” he said. “But I and audiences that I speak to love the train-wreck stories and sometimes we can learn more from the bad than the good. Plus some of the most awesome stories in the book started off as unawesome events. When it hits the fan, it’s not time to hide behind the fan. It’s time to be awesome.”
His confidence and commercial brass neck is admirable. His theory involves employing great people and investing in and empowering them.
Stratten continues: “It really starts off with hiring the right people. That’s actually one of your most important marketing/sales tasks: finding the right people.
“Awesome isn’t trained or taught. One of the worst things to do is hire great front-line employees and poor management. For employers who want to make that awesome step, you have to make sure employees realize that they matter. That your brand isn’t a logo or a brochure, it’s them.”
You Just Can’t Plan Awesome
It seems that any business looking to become awesome, the HR office is the place to start. As Scott succinctly puts it “you don’t plan awesome, you hire it and empower it.”
So, if you’re looking to improve your digital marketing efforts it pays to have the right people in place and make sure they’re happy in their work. If they don’t feel valued, some of your most important advocates will quickly see to it that your business becomes unawesome.
It’s not just about clever gimmicks and impressive tech; it’s about something more fundamental. It’s about people who love what they do and pass that enthusiasm on to customers. Stratten wants to help make your business infectious. Infectiously awesome.