23 Apr The Infinity Stones of Marketing
I have always been a fan of science fiction movies. Ever since I was 9-years old when my father took me to East Junior High School in Warren where he voluntarily taught classes for students who wanted to appreciate and learn more about science fiction, I was enamored with the genre and the creativity it leveraged. So you can imagine, 30 years later, the excitement I have for the final installment of The Avengers saga, “Endgame,” which releases this week. Don’t worry, no spoilers. I promise.
But what I will say as I caught an early viewing of the heroes from my childhood come to life, portraying the comic book scenes I thought were limited simply to the comic books I read, it dawned on me the Infinity Stones, which Thanos was acquiring, are more symbolic to a company’s marketing plan than one may think.
For those of you who don’t know who The Avengers are or what the Marvel Universe is, let’s take a step back and allow me to bring you up to speed. In this fantasy, and that’s what it is, Thanos is a bad guy who is scouring the universe to find 6 gems that bring different powers to the individual who possesses them. If all six are unified, the individual controls the universe. The Avengers are humans and other extraordinary beings united in the quest to prevent this from happening, thereby saving the universe from total annihilation. Everybody got that? Good. Congratulations! You’re all officially nerds with me. Let’s get back to my epiphany.
Every business can empathize with Thanos’s quest. Every business in the Mahoning Valley is trying to capture these special elements to assist them in how to market their company to rule their universe, or industry, with a snap of their fingers. Acquiring these stones, or marketing specialties as I see them, provide an opportunity to take your business to a totally different place, where few have ever been able to go. The quest for your company’s success depends on it and your competition is doing everything they can to prevent you from acquiring them.
So what are these marketing Infinity Stones you should be looking for? Let’s take a look at each one.
Time Stone (Green)
This stone, one of the most coveted, should be your first focus. In Marvel’s world, this allows the user to see into the past and the future, allowing you to stop, slow down, speed up or reverse the flow of time. However, in our universe, this stone is how you plan and measure what you are doing. We always reference a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt to our clients that, “It takes just as much time to plan as it does to hope.” To rule your universe of business, look at what got you to where you are now and establish goals to make the future you foresee a reality. Sometimes it requires speeding up how long it takes for you to achieve these goals, but you also need to stop and evaluate how things are progressing, pausing your work to see how the future is unfolding to make sure it is the one you envisioned.
Mind Stone (Yellow)
Probably the most realistic one to the Marvel Universe, once you possess the Mind Stone, you have the ability to enhance your mental abilities, going so far as to access the thoughts and dreams of others. And isn’t this what marketing is at its core? Your company has a product/service developed based on the needs that other people have and it is your marketing that must deliver it to them to make them aware of their dream becoming a reality. Be sure to research what it is your core customers are looking for and defining how you and your company can best solve their problem. Defining your Mission, your Vision and your brand not only separates you from The Avengers seeking you out, but to appeal to the masses looking for your solution. Which brings us to the next stone…
Power Stone (Purple)
Once you have the first two stones, this one enables you to enhance your powers, your strengths and your abilities. You must first understand what your plan is and what you can offer your customers or audience to solve their challenges, then it is time to aggressively develop a message to maximize your exposure and the power you possess. Creating a uniform message that does not isolate strategies but rather combines the marketing channels you will use in an integrated manner makes you look bigger in the marketplace, even with modest budgets. Ensuring you have a consistent message being shared across any and all mediums will enhance even the smallest campaign. A lack of consistency in your message, breeds a lack of interest in any universe.
Space Stone (Blue)
Now that your message has been fine tuned, you can turn your attention to the stone that allows you to exist in any location – the Space Stone. Developing a strategy that includes an Annual Communications Plan maps out an overview for your company to see exactly where you are at any point during the year. One of the best ways to ensure you are everywhere your customers look is to embrace a digital strategy consisting of a balance of content, social media, display and search elements. With 96% of people engaging with some form of digital marketing element to make a decision on a product or service, making sure you are on the devices of your customers when they looking allows you to manipulate the distance between you and your customers, which brings us to…
Soul Stone (Orange)
The object of any advertising and marketing strategy is to influence the decision making process of your customers. And while the Soul Stone is responsible for manipulating the minds of people, in a way, that’s really what we as marketers attempt to do everyday. From cars and coffee to homes and hops, our messaging, creative and approach to appealing to audiences is designed to convince them to affirm, change or simply rethink their decisions when it comes to our products or our services. It takes time to do this but, when it is done right, the results are not only felt in the sales of a company but in the creation of brand ambassadors who found a company that has changed their entire reality. This brings us to our final stone…
Reality Stone (Red)
This is the ultimate stone that every business is looking for. This is the reason you do what you do, hire who you hire and believe in what you believe. It is the stone that allows you to fulfill goals and dreams that are normally impossible. If you are able to capture and fulfill those first five “Infinity Stones” of marketing, you will undoubtedly alter your reality of success and achieve more than you ever thought was possible. Your company will grow, not only by providing the products or services you offer, but also by becoming fulfilled as an individual and a team. We all are looking for success, however we uniquely define it, but it does not come without all of the work we put in to deliver the other stones first.
The beauty about science fiction is that it allows us to journey to different worlds to experience a reality that is not our own. However, as I found in the Marvel Universe, the Infinity Stones, which The Avengers are protecting, has more of an impact on your business than, probably, originally intended. As you begin your quest to find how your company can capture each one of those stones, remember there are forces out there working against you. These forces are looking for ways they too can benefit from acquiring these coveted gems. However, understanding the order in which you will need to use these stones will ensure the “endgame” for your competition is only the beginning of something great for you and your customers.
About the Author
Jeff Ryznar is a marketing professional with over 15 years of strategic marketing experience and planning for some of the largest brands including Ford Motor Company, General Motors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is currently the owner of 898 Marketing, specializing in custom marketing strategies and business solutions for small and medium sized business in the Midwest.