What separates companies with impactful marketing campaigns, like Apple, from others with immemorable advertisements? Golden circle marketing.
The secret lies in knowing and successfully communicating why your company does what it does through your marketing strategy. This concept was coined the ‘’olden circle’’ by Simon Sinek in 2009 through a ted talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Actions. It is incredibly successful in generating buy-in for an organization.
How Does The Golden Circle Work
The concept uses just three terms: what, how, and why. What is simply the actions that an organization is doing. How is the differentiation or value proposition that separates the organization from other firms in the industry. Finally, the center of the circle is why, is often the hardest for organizations to communicate; it is the company’s beliefs or reason for existence – beyond simply making a profit.
Whereas most companies fall victim to marketing from the outside of the circle inwards, companies with powerful advertising campaigns reverse the order. They pull the customer in with the why and build excitement around the company’s purpose. Sinek provides an example of Apple, hypothetically using traditional marketing:
This is unlikely to resonate with a customer, as it’s nothing special and doesn’t illicit any emotion. There is no significant differentiation from any other manufacturer. “What: We make great computers. How: Our products are easy to use and beautiful looking. Why: Want to buy one?” However, this is contrasted with a more accurate depiction of Apple’s actual golden circle marketing:
Sinek also used this model to explain how legendary leaders like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright brothers were able to inspire and challenge the status quo rather than manipulate, in order to motivate people.
Marketing To The Brain
By starting with the impactful why statement, the customer is interested from the beginning. The golden circle theory is particularly compelling as its roots are set in neuroscience and how humans make decisions. Sinek argues that when marketers target from the inside out, the limbic brain receives the messages, which controls one’s emotions and gut feeling. This part of the brain can generate feelings, such as loyalty, which makes a marketing campaign much more effective. Contrarily, when marketers and sales teams start with what, they reach the neocortex or rational part of the brain.
The issue with this is that this part of the human brain is not responsible for decision making and does not generate emotion; therefore, the message will not resonate with the customer in the same way. Understanding and strongly articulating your company’s why can transform your marketing campaigns. Being able to connect with your desired target market effectively is becoming increasingly important as global competition intensifies. It can be used in your company’s long-term marketing strategy to create recurring, passionate customers who become advocates for your brand.
You might be reading this blog and know your why but unsure where to start with implementation. Get a strategy that fits with your resources with the Tactycs software.
The Diffusion Of Innovation Theory
The Diffusion of Innovation Theory measures the adoption of new technologies and products within a market and breaks it up into different consumers. The theory identifies a tipping point at which a trend spreads exponentially through a population. This is often the goal for a company to have its products gain buzz throughout the industry.
Marketing using the golden circle theory can help with this. Generating a passion for your company and product is an excellent way of targeting early adopters, who then will influence the early majority to try your product and thus “Why: We challenge the status quo and think differently. How: We make beautifully designed products that are easy to use. What: We just happen to make great products.” Referring back to Apple, customers will line up for hours to be one of the first to try the newest product.
Do you know who those people are for your business? Who are your innovators, early majority? Who is a part of your target market? Read this article to learn how to identify your target market.
Marketing With The Golden Circle On A Smaller-Scale
It’s not just multinational corporations with large marketing budgets who are able to use the golden circle approach. A smaller-scale example is a not-for-profit based in Arizona called Integrative Touch for Kids (ITK). The organization’s focus is rehabilitation for children and clearly communicates its why statement on its website, “[ITK] was “ounded . . . to protect children from unnecessary suffering, and to address all aspects of the healing process”.
Using golden circle marketing is especially relevant in the not-for-profit industry, as these organizations rely heavily on donors. Using this technique, ITK can connect with people who share the same passion and ideally retain them as long-term partners. Golden circle marketing allows many businesses to create marketing messages that connects with their customers, which is often absent in traditional marketing techniques. With the resources and channels available to marketers today, there is no reason for firms to miss out on ample opportunities to connect with their customers.
“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”Simon Sinek
How Can I Put Golden Circle Marketing Into Practice?
Start at the beginning. Why did you open your missing in the first place? What are your business’s business’s mission statement? What is your value proposition? Starting from there will help you work your way inside out of the golden circle.
Best Practice Ideas
Now that you have an understanding of what golden circle marketing is, here’s some ideas and standards when it comes to content creation and connecting with your audience through your marketing message.
- Create an emotional appeal: What kind of emotion are you trying to illicit from your audience? Is it fear? guilt? hope? amusement?
- Be authentic: As Simon Sinek puts it, start with your why. It’s about the entire experience that you provide for your customers. It’s not just about what you say.
- Keep your story clear and concise: Don’t overcomplicate your story so that no body can follow along. Keep it clear and mention the important parts.
- Be specfic: Know who your audience is. You’re not writting to everyone, you’re writting to your target audience so make sure you relate to them.