No, really. It is.
Most people that know me personally know that I’m an advocate for proper (i.e. traditional) shaving. Some even call me “The Clean Shaver.” I’m into old-style shaving. You know, the thing that your grandpa (or maybe great-grandpa) and generations before him did with a badger-hair brush, a soap and a safety or straight razor, the kind of thing that Gillette and other industry giants keep trying to squash. Well, traditional shaving is a better way to do it, and I’m going to explain how while tying in best practices for running a digital marketing campaign.
Disclaimer: There’s a popular saying in the community of “traditional shaving enthusiasts”: It’s “YMMV” or “Your Mileage May Vary,” meaning no two people (or businesses or products) are exactly alike, and what works for me may not work as well for you. But the principles are pretty widely applicable.
Step 1: Map it Out
Beginning with the end in mind and knowing your course of action is really the best way to start anything (unless you’re an improv comedian, I guess). One best practice for shaving is to map out the growth of your beard. Each hair grows in a slightly different direction, which means one pass won’t catch everything. Since you will have to make multiple passes with the razor to get optimal results, it’s good to know what direction your facial hair grows in. It may be helpful to even draw something out like this image. You’ll notice that the arrows point in all different directions.
So how is this relevant to a marketing campaign? First, you should have a plan in mind for what the goal of your campaign is. Are you going all out and targeting everyone possible (baby-butt smooth), or are you going for a specific group or groups (just shaving the neck, the cheeks or leaving mutton chops)? You need to know in order to achieve step two of building a lather.
Step 2: Lather Up
For step two, you’ll need tools (applications): a soap or cream and a brush. These two tools work in tandem to help you target the audience you’re going after and make sure they’re ready to be “shaved.” I’ll delve more into the digital marketing side of things, but if you actually want to learn how to lather a shaving soap, just watch this video.
A lathering with shaving soap and brush does two main things for you: it surrounds and lifts the hair away from your face, and provides a lubricating barrier between the razor blade and your face. A proper lather with soap and brush is like the application you use for your campaign, be it Google Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Hubspot, programmatic audio or video, or whatever else. You could try doing the same thing with your fingers and a bar of Dial, but it just won’t yield the same results.
There are also different types of brushes that vary in cost and efficacy. My general preference is a high-quality badger hair because, while it costs more, it holds onto water better than other fiber types and will usually produce the best results for your effort. You could relate this to using not just a digital marketing application, but the right app.
For instance, would Bing Ads get your campaign out there? Sure. But even though Bing is far cheaper, it only has about a tenth of the reach that Google Ads does. So you may be better served to pony up and use the more expensive option. I understand that not everyone can afford to use the higher cost platforms, but they cost more for a reason – they’re generally better.
Step 3: Get to the Shave!
Contrary to what Gillette would have you believe, the simplest solution is the best when it comes to shaving (that’s why an emphasis on simplicity was called “Occam’s Razor,” not “Occam’s Multi-blade Cartridge”). This is usually in the form of a single blade loaded in a safety razor or an old-fashioned straight razor for the daring. Yes, there’s only one blade, but the end result is more thorough and fruitful. Trust me.
When you shave with a single blade, you won’t catch every single hair because a swipe in one direction on your face only cuts in one direction and your facial hair grows in many directions (remember the map of your face?). Each pass might hit the same hair in a slightly different direction, leaving a tiny bit behind. For me, I generally shave in three directions: downward (with the growth), across and upward (against the growth). By taking a different approach, I’m more thorough while doing less damage to my face and actually end up with a longer-lasting, smoother shave.
Here’s how it relates to marketing: In the earlier part of the 20th century, a marketing maxim was developed called “The Rule of Seven,” which stated that a consumer needed approximately seven interactions with your product or brand to really start considering a purchase. In our digital age, we likely see seven or more ads from the same company on the same day, so that number should probably change. However, the principle remains the same.
VERY few consumers or prospects will be a “golden customer” and make a purchase from the first time they hear your message. Today, it’s likely going to require seeing an ad upwards of a dozen times to really start the conversion process.
When you’re shaving (advertising), make sure you prepare a different approach as not all hairs (prospects) are created equal. While your product may be very niche and only appeal to a small few, those few are still individuals and their interests are triggered by slightly different words, images or sounds. Be prepared and don’t get discouraged when your first pass doesn’t work.
Step 4: Treat Your Aftershave
Yes, even after you’ve successfully shaved your face, there’s still another step. Because the process of shaving actually strips dead skin cells from your face, it’s incredibly important for you to take care of what’s left and prepare your face for the next time around (the next flight of ads). An aftershave treatment also cares for the hairs that will be shaved next time. Nurture them. Clean them. Moisturize them.
A good aftershave will include an antiseptic of some sort (witch hazel, isopropyl alcohol, etc.) to remove oils that plug up your pores and clean them out in the process. You’ll then want to moisturize your skin with any assortment of skin-nourishing ingredients like shea butter, rose water or aloe vera (not to mention fragrance oils that help you smell great all day). This will help your skin and hair replenish itself more quickly and prepare you for a pleasant experience over and over again.
So be sure to nurture your customers after they’ve interacted with your campaign. Treat them well because, no matter how long your sales cycle, they will eventually come back. Some customers may not come back alone. By word of mouth, they bring friends and family along with them. After a while, your marketing campaigns become a well-oiled machine-like routine that you’ll look forward to on a regular basis.