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‘Creative Insights’ blog

Our ‘Creative Insights’ blog

Sharing our journey, opinions and thoughts on what it takes to create impactful, long-lasting websites. Since 2009.

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’Marketing Isn’t About You’

Our latest book

If you’d like to read about timeless marketing systems, ’Marketing Isn’t About You’ is now available on Amazon.

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Adam’s daily podcast dedicated to sharing ideas & insights that help good companies create and sell what matters.

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Adam is an English entrepreneur and philanthropist, and the founder of the Fairhead Group. He founded the Fairhead Group to serve cause-driven companies, with the mission of “helping difference makers make a difference." Adam also loves cycling, and can often be found riding his bicycle along the beach.

DenisCTO, Creative Team

Denis is the Lead developer, Chief Technical Officer of our Creative Team, and the brains behind the BuiltForImpact Platform. He's a resident bug hunter who loves nothing more than forcing a browser to do his bidding. Denis loves the Mediterranean, and when possible likes to do his coding from a beachside patio.

MatthewCMO, Creative Team

Lead copywriter and Chief Marketing Officer of our Creative Team, Matt has always had a love for words. Writing great copy isn't work for him–it's his playground. When not in the office, Matt can be found in vintage bookstores or pursuing his passion for meditation in the forests of Canada.

VeliCOO, Creative Team

Lead Project Manager and Chief Operations Officer, Veli makes sure all projects are on track, deadlines are met and deliverables are top performance. She is also the principal liaison between the FC team and the clients. Veli loves reading, learning new things, and taking long vacations on exotic places. In her spare time she loves cooking, going to the gym and doing yoga.

ZlatiCCO, Creative Team

Zlati is the award-winning design lead of our Creative Team. She's also a curious explorer and startup product design mentor (including being featured at Google's Startup weekend). Zlati loves to help the companies we serve find innovative new ways to express their message visually. Outside of design, she's passionate about mountain climbing, yoga, meditation, and cooking.

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Marketing Strategies for 2020

Marketing is about to get competitive and automated.

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Marketing is about to get competitive and automated.

As we enter 2020, the strategies we employ toward those we serve will either help us stand out or leave us sinking into marginalized mediocrity.

What can you and your business do this year to stand out, sell better and make more impact? How can you make this your best year ever?

In this post, we’ll cover three important movements you should make in 2020 to ensure you come out on top.

Strategy 1: Relentlessly Ignore the New Noise

There’s always a flood of articles outlining what you must do for the new year. These posts will always be arduous regurgitations on whatever the trends are at the time.

Chasing trends isn’t a path to success.

Marketing isn’t about blending in and doing what your competitors are doing. It’s about doing what your audience needs from you, regardless of what has your competitors’ attention.

Avoid Linear Tactics

If the trends say you should use Facebook Messenger bots but your audience isn’t on Facebook, don’t use Facebook Messenger bots.

If your audience prefers receiving physical mail and your competitors are obsessed with sending emails, where do you think your opportunity lies?

Focus On Communication

As every year rolls by, I wonder if anyone will add the importance of good communication to their to-do list.

The truth is, they never do.

Utilizing “innovative new solutions” with the same, weak messaging your competitors are using holds you in mediocrity. What if you took an existing effective channel and improved your messaging skills? Do you think that would make it more effective?

A new marketing toy seems to arise every week. As appealing as they may seem, the trick is to ignore the noise and invest in things that last. Leave the freneticism to your competition.

Strategy 2: It’s Still About Your Story and Offer

“Storytelling is the number one way to build your brand”
– Dave Asprey, Founder of Bulletproof Coffee

If you tell the best story and follow it up with the best offer, why would anyone choose someone else to support them? Here are two truths that reinforce this:

The Best Story Wins

If you’re able to move audience members away from their pain and toward their goals in a straighter line than your competitors, why would that audience choose an unclear, convoluted alternative?

Once you’re able to answer these questions critically, wrap the value you bring to the marketplace in a narrative your audience resonates with. This will equip you with what our clients refer to as:

“A siren-call that speaks to the hearts of minds of those we wish to serve.”

Competitors Have Mere Tricks

When you don’t have a narrative to deliver your message or an offer that people can’t refuse, what is one left to do?

Conventional “marketing” conversations ensue as a result of this question.

Applying ‘spin’ to create interest, coercive copy and flash sales are what we’re reduced to when we’re without something people can want and relate to.

Leave the tricks to your competitors and focus your efforts on creating a real connection with those you wish to serve.

Strategy 3: Go Personal

Each time we pass through the Christmas season, we become intimately familiar with both the giving and receiving of gifts.

The same processes happen each year:

Buying something you think the recipient will really appreciate or, receiving something thoughtful from someone who thought of you.

What makes these traditions special is how they make the individuals feel when proper thought is implemented.

How often do you go personal with those you wish to serve?

I’m Not an “Audience”

We want to be acknowledged when we talk to people, whether it’s a business that can help us or an old friend.

We want them to know where we’re going and how to get there. We aren’t just an “audience”, but individuals.

The more you make your message hyper-relevant to each person, the more each person will want to have a conversation with you.

I Like Feeling Special, Too

Hand-written letters don’t have measurable ROI. Personal videos aren’t particularly scalable. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider them.

We’re humans. Not robots. We choose what will help us move forward, but we also choose what we like – what we have a connection with.

You can’t really A/B test ‘like’.

The pursuit of automation and optimization often entices companies to abandon the idea of going personal. However, their loss can be your gain: people want you to care, so use the available channels to show that you do.

Your 2020 Marketing Strategies Wrapped Up

Just like every other year, there will be many 2020 strategy posts making their way online.

Resist turning them into a to-do list.

The frenetic pursuit of mastering every new piece of whiz-bang marketing undermines your power to increase your connection, care, and service in the lives of those you’d like to serve.

Which sounds more effective to you?

3 Online Marketing Roadblocks To Avoid

The online marketing industry is a mess.

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The online marketing industry is a mess.

Somewhere along the way, we as marketers stopped looking at the visitor, at what they’re searching for, which has caused a serious amount of problems for marketers and business owners.

Here, we’re going to cover what WORKS in marketing right now.

This is not going to be a post about hacks or tricks or techniques that supposedly work for every market/ industry/ sector; there are enough post like that on the internet already.

So, in this post we’re going to cover three big roadblocks in online marketing that you might be falling victim to, and how to remedy those so that your company’s marketing efforts will move closer toward its full potential.

Most companies who ask about “what works in marketing” are in similar positions; any of these sound true for you?

  • They’ve tried ‘everything’ in marketing, but struggle to create the results they’re hoping for.
  • They’ve experimented with many advertising channels, but so far have achieved little-to-no yield from most of them.
  • Any growth they’ve managed to create has paled in comparison to their expectations.

If you can relate to any of these situations, let’s put each one to rest, in order.

The first marketing roadblock: “trying everything”

When we go to a company’s website, we can tell when they’ve “tried everything”. We’re assaulted with “stuff”.

We’re talking about: pop-ups, welcome mats, exit intents, opt-ins, and those new-dangled spinning-wheel things that ask you to select your bonus gift.

We’ve been to these ‘everything’ websites ourselves, and what we notice is this:

  • We don’t like those websites.
  • We don’t trust those websites.
  • We know when we’re being herded and we don’t like it.

So what do we do about this? If we’ve tried everything, what’s the key?

1. Make sure you’re proud of your site.
I mean… really, really proud.

When you tell people about your website, you shouldn’t feel as if you’re luring them into a trap, or that they won’t ‘get it’. It shouldn’t be tedious to sift through the site due to excess ‘marketing stuff’. A great website connects with its audience and is worth making a (good) remark about.

Is yours?

2. Make sure you’re clear on your audience.
‘Everything’ isn’t necessary when you know your audience. The clearer you are on who your audience is and what they need to hear from you, the less you’ll rely on gimmicks to stand out, sell better and make your impact.

3. Stop dabbling.
Armed with clarity over who you’re talking to and what to say, release the temptation to dabble in your marketing work. If you know what to say, why are you saying other things?

Dabbling inflicts pain on your business. Replace it with indefatigable focus: on your people, and on what they truly need from you.

The second marketing roadblock: trying to find a “magic channel”

There is no magic channel. All advertising channels are mostly the same.

They include:

  • People sharing their highlights
  • People hiding their lowlights
  • The ability to advertise to these people

It’s important to remember that most channels are like this. If Facebook failed you, LinkedIn is not your savior. It’s still another platform that interacts with people, isn’t it?

The question again becomes:

Who do we want to talk to, and what do they need to hear from us?

Some people enjoy social channels more than others. Which do your people enjoy? Be there. And share the message they need to hear, there.

If we can do this, we quickly settle on the best platform or platforms to engage with those we wish to serve, armed with a message they want to hear from us.

So the keys to this one are:

1. Remember what a channel is.
It’s a website that people go to regularly, normally designed to sell information to advertisers.

It’s not a golden ticket, it owes us nothing, and its goals differ from yours.

2. Go where they are.
…And stop going where they aren’t. Knowing your customers means understanding where they’ll be and how to utilize those platforms to strengthen your connection.

3. Pay attention to the meta-game.
Other businesses are messaging people on LinkedIn too. Those who ‘like’ your Instagram post may well have done so for the same reason you went and ‘liked’ theirs – to increase your exposure.

So don’t focus on Likes and Follows, but instead focus on whether or not you’re talking to the right people, and saying the right things they need to hear from you. That’s all that matters. The rest will only distract you from what matters.

The third marketing roadblock: wrong expectations

Thinking you’re not as capable as you are is a misstep. Thinking that operating at full potential is easy, is also a misstep.

Oftentimes, we’re seduced by the narrative that countless riches are but a single online course away – That it can be fast, easy and affordable to produce significant results simply by using the right piece of software.

However, you’ve probably learned by now that some things just take time.

And that’s okay.

It’s 100% OK if something doesn’t work the first time around (hardly anything does!)

Just like our book title suggests, Marketing Isn’t About You, it’s your fiduciary and moral responsibility to reach your potential, because that’s going to enable you to serve more people and making more impact.

So what can we do about this?

1. See the data for what it is.
When marketing isn’t working well, it doesn’t mean it’s ‘broken’, only that it’s underperforming, and all things underperform to start.

But what gets measured can be improved. So we can refine our message and increase our results if we choose to.

2. See the people behind the data.
Beyond the data, it’s important to remember that real people are looking at you. If we focus on the data for too long, we can forget that. If you only have 100 people on your website today, that is 100 real human beings who went there.

What do your people really need? Are they finding that in you? 100 can be nothing or it can be everything, depending on if you can see the people behind the data or not.

So, here’s the bottom line: What works in marketing now?

Well, as it happens, it appears to be the opposite of what most people do:

To focus, and care more about those you wish to serve.

It’s our responsibility to tell our audience that this is our mission. After all, they’ve been waiting for someone to finally show the industry that what works in marketing is 100% customer-centric.

Pair this golden rule while taking the steps to reach your potential and you have a marketing plan that actually (and finally) shows results.

Why Marketers Never Listen & What To Do About It

Marketers don’t learn this lesson easily.

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We don’t listen.

We’re told it’s important when we’re young. In school. At our first job. In marriage. That we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

But when it comes to marketing, it all goes out the window. We think it’s by accident. It isn’t.

The truth is, we like the sound of our own voices. We like the features in our products. We like to be sure others understood how great our work is. If we keep talking, we think we have more chances of being heard. If we use more words, perhaps more of them will land.

Marketers don’t learn this lesson easily.

No wonder everyone’s saying marketing is getting harder.

In this post we’re going to cover some examples of where, as marketers, we think we’re listening, but aren’t. Then we’re going to cover some ways we can really listen, and how doing so will transform the way our marketing performs.

“Selfish” Website Mistakes That Turn Away Customers

I’m talking to you, difference-maker.

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I’m talking to you, difference-maker.

Over the past few weeks, my team and I have been reviewing a ton of websites.

Through this process, we came across something funny:

Problems never seem to change.

All of the sites struggle from recurring issues. This problematic cycle then perpetuates the site’s marginalized results from one company to the other.

That’s why we’ve decided to briefly show you the results and solutions we’ve found – so that you can avoid making these same mistakes on your own site.

If you’re a cause-driven, ethical B-corp or sustainable company, looking to stand out, sell better and make a greater impact, you must make sure you have these points covered.

Fairhead Creative Came #1 Internationally in A’Design Awards for Web Design

This is a win for cause-driven and sustainable businesses all over the world – it's down to all of us to make a difference, and we're honored to be leading the way. 🙌

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Another award!

In the tail-end of June, we were honored with the recognition of being #1 internationally in the A’Design Awards, the world’s largest design competition organized by the International Design Academy.

We received the highest recognition in the category of web design for our work with BuiltForImpact, our way of building websites for cause-driven companies that helps them stand out and increases sales using our Mission Narrative system.

Fairhead Creative Awarded by Clutch.co as a Top Agency

Five-star reviews and awarded the highest credential by Clutch. Go team!

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At Fairhead Creative, we are focused on making the world a better place. We accomplish this task each and every day by helping those in our care to stand out, sell better, and make more impact.

As you probably know, BuiltforImpact is our solution for creating effective websites for clients, while Mosaic is our answer to marketing optimization. In addition to helping our clients utilize their website to drive revenue and create better business, a percentage of our clients investment in us goes towards fighting human trafficking, the world’s fastest growing crime. We are committed to improving the lives of others, both our clients and those we may never meet, and understand that as a result of these efforts, we set ourselves apart from our competitors.

Recently, Clutch has released rankings of the top B2B companies in each of the 50 states. And we’re one of them!. Fairhead Creative is proud to announce that Clutch has named us one of the top web design agencies in Florida!