The accidental marketer

This is a guest post from Mitch Joel — President, Twist Image and author of “Six Pixels of Separation.” His new book “CTRL ALT Delete” was released in May 2013. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

Sometimes, the biggest lessons in marketing come from the strangest places.

Selling a book is a lot of hard work. That’s the lesson I’m re-learning right now as CTRL ALT Delete enters into its second week of sales (re-learning, because I went through this in 2009 when launching the book, Six Pixels of Separation). Working up to the launch of the business book on May 21st, 2013, all of the plans were in place. The work we were doing at Twist Image to build the digital experience, the public relations, communications, and marketing all coordinated with my publisher, Grand Central Publishing, and much more.

There was a long list of marketing collateral that included everything from building that digital experience, to writing a traditional press release, to planning some book launches (some public, some private), to creating contests, and more. Leading up to the book launch, it felt kind of chaotic and in looking back, it all seems to have come together around the digital experience, which has been getting rave reviews by everyone who plays along with it.

Then, something happened.

In watching all of the feedback surrounding the CTRL ALT Delete digital experience, I thought it would be fun to strip out some of the statistics, add in some new ones, and put them into a simple PowerPoint deck that I could upload to SlideShare. Candidly, it was easy to do, got pulled together in a couple of hours, and was posted to SlideShare on May 26th with the title, “25+ Mind Blowing Stats About Business Today – CTRL ALT Delete.”

As of this writing, that deck has been viewed over 45,000 times, and it is still going. Within a few hours, SlideShare had chosen it as one of their top presentations of the day. That’s not bad for a piece of content to promote a business book.

This is not about me… this is about you.

Everyone at Twist Image is pleasantly surprised by the success of this initiative, because it wasn’t the one we would have pegged to be this successful… and that’s the lesson. You have to try things. You have to tinker with a campaign. You have to keep at it. You have to iterate. You have to try different channels. You have to keep at it. Too many marketers still work with the, “set it and forget it,” mindset. It would have been easy for us to hand out bellyrubs and lollipops in the boardroom after reading all of the feedback on the book’s website. We weren’t done. We’re still not done.

Some of the biggest successes of your marketing may come from a strange corner of your campaign. Don’t let that go. Don’t let it slip. Was it accidental that we knew the content would work well in a SlideShare setting? No. Was it accidental that it became one of the highlights of this campaign considering the myriad of initiatives that we’ve undertaken to date? Absolutely.

Isn’t that part of the beauty and magic of marketing?

About Mitch Joel

Mitch Joel is President of Mirum — an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. He is also a blogger, podcaster, journalist, speaker, and the author of "Six Pixels of Separation" and "CTRL ALT Delete." Mitch is frequently called upon to be a subject matter expert for BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Marketing Magazine, Profit, Strategy, Money, The Globe & Mail, and many other media outlets.

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