How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

Britain’s most renowned playwright, William Shakespeare, once famously wrote; “All the world’s a stage…” as part of a profound speech which likens the world to a ‘universal theatre‘, life to a performance, and how we all have a part to play in it. For marketing today, this statement couldn’t be more true…

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

All the world’s a stage:

With the increasing globalisation and digitalisation of brands, customers can engage with your company and your brand messages across the world in any country at any time. This means that you must always be performing for them, sending and showing them good content they will be interested in. Your customers will always be expecting a good show, and demanding you deliver time and time again. Otherwise, if your customers aren’t happy with your performance they will leave, or worse; demand their money back. Others might stay out of loyalty, politely clapping before leaving, but those who truly love your brand will be calling for an encore!

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

Not only that, but happy customers will also be highly recommending you to their friends, generating more customers for you, and if your performance is truly exceptional you could also receive the critic’s acclaim! Likewise, if your messages don’t hit the right tone, critics will be just as quick to give you poor reviews. There’s a fine line between having a hit or producing a flop, and marketing producers (both for social and content marketing) need to be aware and ready for this, to be able to turn their show around. In some cases, through clever and ingenious social media use, a brand can easily turn a potential negative into a positive.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

(Such as this ‘hilarifish’ exchange between a customer disappointed by his lack of favourite battered fish on the Sainsbury’s freezer shelves, and the supermarket’s ‘fintastic’ response.)

It is also important to remember that it’s not always just you and your company on that stage, but it’s extremely cluttered with other brands, all giving different performances to the same audience at the same time. This creates highly “distracted customers”, and it can be hard to gain their attention as “there is a lot of noise and distractions to cut through to reach out and get a brand message across”. Not to mention people will always be looking to find the best deal or something which appeals to them in that moment.

In this industry, to get your customer’s attention it’s not just about shouting the loudest, but saying the best thing which will resonate and appeal to them and will attract their attention for more than just a few seconds, by offering them the best and most engaging and appealing content.

However, it’s not just all about what is going on onstage, there is also a lot happening in the wings, which acts as a driving force to ensure everything runs smoothly, to guarantee the performance’s success.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

A play is nothing without the many separate parts, (ie. the writer, choreographer, crew, actors, etc.), all working on different things but all working together as a whole to create one successful performance. This is just like a brand, with many different departments unifying to achieve their company goals, engaging new customers, and keeping their existing customers coming back for more.

Your business should never just be about making and keeping your customers happy, however; it is also about keeping your employees and brand advocates happy too. Your brand wouldn’t be what it is today without your work force; whether they are working backstage, managing or directing, or in the limelight interacting with your customers.

In this instance, these ‘actors’ can be the very first interaction a consumer will have with your brand, and so they must be able to positively represent you. They are an extension and representation of your brand and its ideals. Apple has understood and perfected this understanding into a fine art. Their sales are a direct result of their shop team’s ability to befriend the customer and talk to them on a personal level, so you can relate and warm to them, like characters on the stage.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

To be a successful company you must always have your employee’s support, as they make it all happen, especially when you have direct customer contact in your stores. If you keep your employees happy and loyal, just like your customers, then they’ll be always be cheering you on from the wings.

They have their exits and their entrances:

It’s important to know when your entrance is, ie. when and how it’s best to contact your customer. It is also more important to know when it is best to take your exit, ie. when to trust that your customer will do something positive with your brand, such as interact with you, recommend or buy from you, without constant reminders which they won’t appreciate; “you are in your customer’s lair now and you need to play by their rules.”

Try to engage with your customer at the right time, so “the customer is happy to hear from you” and interact with you, by offering them key benefits so that they in turn are “influenced to research, use and even purchase your products or services”.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

(The email Barometer, which charts when customers check their email on mobile devices

By ensuring that what you are saying and offering is something of value (ie functionality, service, offers, exclusive content), this will stop the customer from considering it may be a bad time to interact, as long as you do your best to offer them something beneficial, as “wherever the value outweighs the investment, then you have a good chance of achieving your objectives”.

Make sure that you respect your customers and their time once you have their attention. If a play goes on for 8 hours, when it was falsely advertised as 2 hours long, the audience will be sure to lose interest, leave and complain! Be honest and sincere with them, and only deliver what’s relevant to them. By tailoring the content, you can talk to the right people, who will then matter to your brand.

If people are attending a play, it usually means that they have some interest in the product. If they are there in the theatre (ie with you as a brand), and you have successfully attracted and engaged them as a customer, then deliver what they want and they in turn won’t fail to deliver for you (ie. with positive reviews, more customers through “the ripple effect”, sales, etc). Afterall, “a happy customer is a customer who will buy things”.

And one man in his time plays many parts:

It’s true that many brands have changed over the years- they must in order to refrain from stagnating and failing, and to keep up with the changing technologies and lifestyles of their changing audience.

Brands change over time, ‘playing many parts’ as they progress, evolve and change their strategy. Some brands are no longer just ‘brands’, they are becoming their own marketers and taking on a life of their own, and exceeding the limitations traditionally thought of a brand, expanding outside of their products range bracket for maximum exposure.

A prime example of this is Red Bull; originally an energy drinks company, now a “multi-platform self-publishing content powerhouse… that also happens to sell a beverage!

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

To survive in today’s competitive marketing world, it’s either learning to change, or failing. The Drum recently reported that; “marketing success is dependent on organisational change” and customers need to be made aware that you are out there and interested in them as a person, not just as a customer. Brands have a part to play in making sure that their brand is always accessible, and providing the best products and service for their customers. Afterall, “Companies that can’t evolve fast enough are going to get left behind.”

Brands are creating engaging new ways of talking to their customers and fans on a familiar level, showing the brand values the opinions of their audience. With increasing attention and focus being directed online, “brands unable to connect with the digi-savvy audience will lose out on retaining and attracting current and new customers.” Effectively managing this can mean the difference between survival or stagnation of a business in today’s modern and social world.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

(To change or not to change? That’s an easy question)

More and more customers are using new technology to engage their audience, such as smart phones and tablets, and “73 per cent (of marketers) believe that reinvention will be needed in order for marketing to succeed in new channels”, and the increasing amount of different ways to engage the audience is driving this change.

Success in online marketing has always been about how you build a brand across different digital platforms, so it’s important to consider the many different channels and devices, and to think about how these interact. An integrated content strategy, utilising both online and offline platforms, and making it compatible across all screens and social tools, will help brands succeed. Quality content will create engagement and trust, which is essential for developing long-term relationships with current and potential customers, producing brand-loyalty and driving the all-important sales and revenue.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

Brands also play many parts when they engage with different members of their audience, and continue to evolve as they attempt to attract their new and changing customers such as “net natives” who have been born into this tech-orientated age, and will never have known a time before the internet. How can you begin to understand who your audience is, and how can you continue to engage with them?

This can be achieved by brands continually adapting their marketing strategy and talking to their audience in a language they understand, on a one-to-one and familiar level. Today, adapting Shakespeare’s work into words we can understand whilst studying his language is the best way for his work to continue engaging with new audiences across the generations, to therefore gain more appreciation for his works, which has resulted in his continued appeal as language has changed through the centuries.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

How you engage with your audience could be incited by the best way to appeal to them, which is often through the use of emotion in marketing, and offering them content they will want and be interested in, such as entertainment and value. Like the many themes of a play, different plot lines can induce different emotions. Shakespeare knew this with his plays designed to excite, intrigue, scare, surprise, please and amuse his audience.

Whether informative (Dove’s Real Beauty ‘Evolution’), comic (Rainforest Alliance’ ‘Follow the Frog’) or fantastical (Evian’s Spiderman and his dancing Spiderbaby counterpart), good content will always “draw our attention to a range of human experience with all its sadness, joy, poignancy, tragedy, comedy, darkness, lightness, and its depths.”

Being able to understand your audience is therefore imperative in order to engage with them and shape the future of their communications with your brand.

His acts being seven ages:

Whether you are a global business or a localised company, there are seven stages from this article which brands should consider and act upon:

  1. Keep your customer happy, so they can become lifetime fans of your brand.
  2. Happy customers means increased sales and promotion to new audiences, for more customers for your brand.
  3. Keep your employees happy so they best continue to uphold and serve your brand.
  4. Contact your customers at the right time with relevant and engaging content.
  5. Stagnate, or change by building an integrated content strategy to keep ahead of the competition.
  6. Consider your audience and continue to engage them as they change over time by appealing to their interests and emotions.
  7. Adopt new technologies into your strategy to continue to talk to these changing customers.

Shakespeare knew and applied this to his audience, as “A major feature of Shakespeare’s appeal to his own generation was recognition, something Shakespeare exploited relentlessly” such as producing excellent stories with characters and themes they could relate to. It was this understanding of how to appeal to his audience which made him the success he was then, and still is today.

Bards and Brands – How Shakespeare Will Shake Up Your Marketing Performance

If you want your brand’s performance to be remembered, contact our successful Accounts team today. To (mis)quote the Bard himself; For here, I hope, begins our lasting Enjoy (partnership)!

comments powered by Disqus