What Marketers Can Learn from a Royal Birth

Patti RennerThe world is a-buzz with the excitement of the Royal Birth of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s baby. If you think of England’s Royal Family to be a brand (which they are), consider this a new release of the product line. So as you observe the frenzy, consider these lessons we can learn from it as marketers.
Anticipation is Delightful – Suspense is a similar to scarcity. Instead of being among the few to have something, anticipation feeds on a similar emotional need. Knowledge is power. The satisfaction of being the first to know is what drives most network news coverage. In the same way, you can weave this into your own promotions and campaigns. Countdown clocks to the next sale or release… exclusive content or previews released in tightly orchestrated drips to your audience… reminders of days left until something begins – all are ways marketers build anticipation. And anticipation (when done well) builds interest. Take an upcoming big campaign and think of it as a royal birth. What can be tweeted, posted, blogged and/or reported on to build excitement? How can you add suspense and anticipation to the release date? Try incorporating some elements of anticipation, then compare against a similar campaign that lacked the build-up to see what worked best. Use the media and social buzz as royal inspiration to improve your approach.

Emotions Drive Interests – People love puppies, kittens and babies. Layer in the historic significance of Kate and Will’s bundle of joy and you have plenty of fuel for a media frenzy. It’s emotional. For marketers, it pays to drill into an emotional hook to capture the attention of an increasingly distracted audience. In this case, they love the celebrity, history, patriotism, inspiration that a royal birth may bring. But what about your own brand? Give them a reason to connect on an emotional level with your content – so they care. Start with bringing the focus of your content to align with the current needs of the audience. What is it they want? What’s the trigger that brings them to engage with your brand to begin with? How can you provide support and content to make that trigger stronger – so it connects directly with your brand’s promise? People who sell perfume don’t sell scented oil – they sell hope and desire for attraction. Disneyworld doesn’t sell just overpriced beanies and theme park food – they sell memories. Even Seinfeld as a sitcom sold “nothing” and tapped into a desire for endless free time. See what issues your brand solves, and provide content to support that interest. After all, “interests” are things that actually mask base emotional needs. Go a little deeper into your data for better understanding of the “why” they’re interested, then support that need.

Always Give Them Quality – With all the news in the world happening at this very moment, it’s incredible to see major international networks camped out at St. Mary’s Hospital giving play by plays and updates of zero information (as of 10 a.m. EST). One commentator said it was about as fascinating as watching paint dry, and I tend to agree. Too many hours of a camera filming a closed door and you risk losing your audience – it’s boring and lacks real value. The content people want is what they will find either useful or entertaining. Be mindful that in your quest to pump out content as you market your brand that you don’t risk delivering garbage. Stay true to your principles of quality. It’s better to send content people want with less frequency and will find actually useful (which adds to anticipation if it’s done right) than send our mediocre content that fails to engage. Use your data to make sure the relevance of your marketing content remains highly valuable to the audiences you target. There may be a new heir to the throne born today, but content remains king for marketers.

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