He makes the point that everything really great comes out of the edges of what is possible.
Further, because you can’t predict what marketing will work a priori, a decent strategy is to be on the edge, any edge, all the time. Run for the edge, and try not to fall off.
While understanding that you will fall off, sometimes, but because you and your organization are on the edge, you can recover better than firms that always play it safe.
Edges I see in internet marketing (they are not all from someone else): SMS used to promote things, blogs in non-bloggy industries, involving users in product decisions.
No, wait, all of those have been done.
But maybe not well, and maybe not in your industry.
Talking with my brother, he said he would definitely help out the Economist. What if they invited him to be a part of a club, where each month he was asked to rate 3 articles on a scale of 1-5 on 5 metrics, and also a paragraph or two about what he did or did not like about the article.
He would love to do that. And he would tell his friends. And he would become more involved with the brand.
So why does the Economist not do it? Why doesn’t your local organic foods store blog?
Because that’s not how it’s done, and furthermore, if they wanted to be on the edge, they could more easily put some money into pay-per-click ads, or a blog, or something (relatively) well known. Giving customers a voice to critique and influence your company is downright scary.
Nina of momAgenda (one of our clients) answers customers’ questions on her blog. What if a customer has a great idea, Nina puts it out in the open, and people love it and comment that she just has to try that feature?
Now that is living on the edge.
As Godin asks, what are the edges in your business?