Andrew Davis is a marketing expert, speaker, and best-selling author. He will be our special guest presenter at our upcoming free webinar this Thursday, where he’ll be discussing Increasing the Size of your Marketing Pizza Pie. Have you registered yet? I sat down to ask Andrew a few questions in advance of his webinar and we covered a range of ideas including CMO pizza, increasing demand, and forgetting about your market share. Read on to see Andrew’s intriguing insights into all this and more.
Quinn Whissen: We focus a lot here at Vertical Measures on how to create useful content that is on the end of someone’s search online based on topic ideation and keyword research. From what I understand, you have a perspective that looks at content a little differently, and you call it “increasing demand.” Would you mind enlightening us on the differences in perspectives and this idea of increasing demand?
Andrew Davis: It’s very common that, as marketers, we focus on trying to ensure that we’ve answered the questions our consumers are thinking of when they’re considering using us.
I know at Vertical Measures, Arnie uses an example of planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. If you use any of those keyword search tools, you’ll find that people are searching for “two-day agendas at the Grand Canyon” or “what to do if you want to camp at the Grand Canyon” or “five options for going down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.” My perspective is that that’s absolutely necessary.
Those kinds of things help tremendously, but you’re also missing a big opportunity in the market to convince people to go to the Grand Canyon. That is a much more interesting and exciting thing to explore. How could you actually inspire people to go to the Grand Canyon so that more people every year want to go to the Grand Canyon? And as a result, leverage your business if you were a tour operator, let’s say.
So instead of just getting people on the consideration phase, they’ve already decided to go to the Grand Canyon, now they want to know what to do. How can you actually get more people to go to the Grand Canyon? So hopefully that makes sense.
Quinn: I love the idea of looking at content marketing — and marketing in general — like a pizza, which is what your upcoming webinar is about with us on Thursday. Can you explain to our readers what this is and where you came up with this analogy? How does shifting to this perspective help businesses uncover new opportunities for increased revenue?
Andrew: First and foremost, marketers love pie charts.
So it wasn’t hard for me to all of a sudden realize that maybe we could use a pie chart as an analogy and pizza pie to illustrate some of the things that I think you should explore as a marketer. The main issue is that we spend a huge amount of time thinking about our pizza pie and our market share as every slice. Your competitors have a percentage of the market share in the marketplace. You have a percentage of that market share and you’re always trying to gain market share. You’re trying to get a little bit more market share and that’s trying to slice the pie a little larger every time so your slice is bigger.
What I want you to think about is not just thinking about the slices of the pie and stealing market share, but can you actually make a bigger pizza pie? So can you increase the size of the market so that even if your market share stays the exact same, you end up increasing your revenue?
So that’s what we’re going to talk about in the webinar on Thursday. We’ll also talk about another pizza, which I call CMO pizza, which is looking at your market budget as a bunch of slices and how to best think through that.
Quinn: You wrote a book called Brandscaping, which I’m going to have to read based on everything I’ve seen about it. What is brandscaping to you and does it relate to increasing the size of your marketing pizza pie?
Andrew: Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships is all about leveraging the audiences of others to increase demand for the products and services you sell. You can think of it as the answer to one simple question, “Who has your next customer as their current customer?”
So what you’re trying to do is actually move up to the value chain by finding partners where you can create content for them or with them so that those people think of you as a trusted resource even before they need you or so they need you.
For example, if I sold accounting software and I target small businesses, maybe I want to partner with Staples. Because when I’m setting up my small business for the very first time, I’m buying office supplies and I need a desk and I need a printer and I need file folders. And if you were the software company that could help me do that (even though you sell accounting software) when I need accounting software, I already think about you.
So that’s the idea. Brandscaping is creating those partnerships.
Quinn: If a marketer’s pizza pie is getting sliced up into more and more pieces — social media, email marketing, content, native ads, on and on — how can a marketer keep up? What is the most important thing or strategy to focus on amidst competing priorities?
Andrew: This is a great question. I think you want to simplify your pie. So instead of trying to do everything, start by just making two or three big slices and getting really good at making sure those slices work. Instead of thinking you have to do everything to be successful, just do the things that you need to do to be successful.
The other thing is, every time you want to make a new slice, think long and hard about where you want to take that slice of pie from. If you decide you want to get into native advertising, you need to slice your advertising pie up and be very clear about the goals for that campaign or initiative.
So one of the key pieces I always ask people to do is actually think about killing a slice every time they want to add a new slice. That will be much more efficient.
Quinn: In your opinion, which “slice” of the marketing pie are businesses and marketers missing the boat on or should start to pay more attention to?
Andrew: I think when it comes to the slice of the pie, it’s actually simplifying it. So which slice did I think they’re missing the boat on? It’s probably the content marketing slice. They’re piling a lot of money into their content marketing, but they’re not really sure exactly how to measure it. So I think if you’re not sure how to measure it, you shouldn’t have a slice.
You should rethink how you’re doing it. And if you are going to do a slice, make sure you know why you’re doing it.
Quinn: Since many of our readers are content marketers, can you provide an example of a brand or company that has increased demand through innovative content strategies?
Andrew: We’ll talk about some of these on the webinar. But I think the brands that are really smart at this are really focused on acquiring new customers by targeting a niche, people like Tractor Supply have targeted very specific niches and become very successful at it by creating content for them or partnering with other people.
Breville is a great example. They actually increased demand for juicers by creating a movie, which we’re going to talk about during the webinar. So those are a couple of quick ones.
But you can think of it as anyone who’s really done a good job of focusing on getting more people interested in their products. The Content Marketing Institute is a great example, right? Content marketing didn’t really exist as a term 10 years ago, now everybody uses it. That was creating a market themselves.