A Content Marketing Philosophy Routed In Pragmatisim

In the mid-1990's, I was pretty skeptical of experts that said the internet was going to transform everything. At the time, the only thing it seemed to change was the way stuff was sold. Remember Pets.com? Well, I was wrong.

A revolution is taking place that's as powerful as the industrial revolution in the late 1800's. The web and mobile technologies have given consumers the power to know more about a service or company than at any other time in our history. Google's research indicates that buyers are using online tools as part of their decision-making process on every single step towards a transaction. Often, prospects interact with a company more than thirty times before a sale. Data-driven marketing and advertising are become a highly personalized experience across every connected device from a laptop to an iPhone to Alexa. Ignoring this shift means a firm's identity (and earnings) will mirror brands like JC Penney, AOL, and BlackBerry.  

Now is the time to structure a marketing plan that cuts through the sludge of typical advertising and attracts new clients!

Content Marketing and the Grateful Dead's Influence

The best way to attract people online is through free education, creative content and making a personal connection. It's called content marketing, inbound marketing, and as Seth Godin has coined it, permission-based marketing.

I learned this practice first hand, way before Esther Dyson discussed the idea in a seminal 1994, Wired article that spawned a million tech start-ups. Hubspot may be the most famous company to co-opt (and corrupt) the idea. 

In 1994 I was in my 7th year working as a freelancer for Grateful Dead Merchandising with a vast bootleg tape collection, and 120+ shows seen in venues as distant as the Stockholm Globe Arena and the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA. The Dead's marketing concept was simple, give fans access to their music for free by allowing them to tape shows and share those tapes with other fans. The result of disseminating all of this free content/music was the development of a passionate group of fans who purchased everything the Grateful Dead chose to make available for sale. The results? $100 million in sales in 1994 by a band that only once cracked the Billboard Top 10. 

So, how does this expertise make Means-of-Production a better choice for marketing your built environment firm? We believe that creating compelling content is more than a fad. It can be used to attract the right type of client and we've been doing it for years. 

Co-opt A Marketing Process and Thrive

I'm pretty certain half of you read the last paragraph and clicked off the page due to the Dead Head stereotype. Let me reassure you, I'm no Jeff Spicoli. I'm a tactician that works hard and is serious about growing your company. I may borrow from the Grateful Dead's marketing playbook, but my team has the work ethic, experience and a proven success of attaining incredible marketing stats that will help you hit sales goals. Determining what type of content drives sales is the key to any successful inbound marketing process. Every client is different, but it's safe to say that the marketing and advertising tactics used by Apple, IBM and Coca-Cola will not work for your firm unless of course, you have unlimited capital. Effective content marketing starts with targeted, creative, personal information that speaks to the recipients. Knowing the marketing channels your prospects use and tracking data that shows where the results are coming from ensures budgets are being used wisely. 

We Work For Built Environment Construction Firms

If you're an architect, interior designer, design-build contractor or landscape professional, you're creative, and we want to work with you to bring your unique aesthetic to the world. My background includes years as an architectural photographer, visual arts, and marketing educator at the university level. I've been building websites for over twelve years.

Influences include the academic writings of landscape critic J. B. Jackson, Sears Homes of the 1940's, Alina Wheeler's approach to brand identity, Joan Didion's ability to convey a sense of place, Mark Rothko's use of color and Charles Saatchi's ability to break down the walls between art and advertising to make a profit.

How does this result in better marketing for your firm? Process, mnemonics, storytelling, design, and a business purpose are the foundation from which we build your presence, construct communication channels, develop an audience and make a case for using your firm's services.

Why Are You So Inexpensive?

If there's one thing that makes me a little crazy, it's wasting time and money. Even my graduate work was inspired by Frederick Taylor - well, at least, the good parts of Taylorism. My goal for Means-of-Production has been to use tools to reduce wasted time through efficiencies so that we can concentrate on design, content marketing, and advertising tactics that affect the bottom line. It is why we use Squarespace instead of WordPress. There is no return on investment for updating your website from hackers weekly. Squarespace takes care of that for us.

Canva is an online design software for creating graphic images. Because of its simplicity, we can create social media graphics in minutes, not the hours required when designing on Adobe software. A blog is the best way to attract prospects online, but it demands frequent posting. We write blogs in bulk, all at once so that research, voice, and goals do not have to be re-understood every time a new blog article needs to be published.

When architectural photographs are taken, we create and use Lightroom presets to bulk process all images so that you have sixty images per shooting day that are usable for Houzz and social media. This approach saves many hours that we do not have to bill for and is reflected in our pricing.

Don't Confuse Value with Cheap

A Savile Row bespoke suit can be a wonderful splurge, but if buying a Brooks Brothers off the rack suit is indistinguishable to your audience, and gets the same result, well, I say, save the money. Efficiencies, and the elimination of repetitive tasks through the use of technology are how we create marketing deliverables that provide a proven, trackable return. Schedule a call to learn more.

Esther Dyson’s most compelling illustration of how you can make money by giving stuff away was that of the Grateful Dead, who encouraged people to tape live performances because “enough of the people who copy and listen to Grateful Dead tapes end up paying for hats, T-shirts and performance tickets. In the new era, the ancillary market is the market.” “It won’t all happen immediately. But in the long run, we are all the Grateful Dead.
— Paul Krugman, Economist - The New York Times

An Album Cover I Shot While Working For The Grateful Dead in the 1990's

Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.
— Leo Burnett, Advertising Executive