How do you stand out from the crowd?

 |  Tam Al-Saad - Get more articles like this sent to your email here


Hi, I’m Tam and today I’m going to be sharing a valuable marketing lesson that I learned whilst on holiday in Bali.

As you might be able to tell from my slightly darker complexion, I recently took a short holiday to the beautiful island of Bali with a friend of mine.

Now I’ve always advocated holidays as a great way to get some headspace and be able to see some problems clearer, but I saw something happen so clearly that it shocked me.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the scene, it’s not specific to Bali and happens in tourist destinations around the world.

I got off a boat heading back from a small island off the coast of Lombok and found myself surrounded by at least a hundred taxi drivers, all offering to take me wherever I wanted to go next.

They only thing differentiating one service from another was how loud their voices were.

We had already booked a return shuttle bus so I politely declined, and as I stood waiting for the bus, I watched as other tourists were approached, and dare I say, hounded, to take up the taxi driver’s services.

Every single person who got off the boat was overwhelmed or annoyed at the number of options being shouted at them, but some taxi drivers seemed to be more selective.

A few of them approached me and struck up a conversation which usually started with “where are you from”?

Then we would have a chat about what football team I supported or who my favourite player was.

That’s the point at which they asked where I was heading and if I wanted a taxi.

They said they’d take me straight to my hotel door, would be a lot faster, and I’d be a lot more comfortable compared to the shuttle bus I was booked on.

At that point they would mention the price, and then almost immediately discount it.

Sound familiar?

Well, it reminded me a lot of the current digital marketing landscape.

We’re all getting bombarded with messages for products and services that we might or might not want but can’t even choose between, so we take no action.

The most successful brands are the ones who take an indirect approach to start with, in order to build a relationship, then they explain the benefits, and then try to close.

With that in mind, I challenge you to review your current marketing approach to see if it stacks up against the following 3 criteria.

Number one – Speak to a specific audience.

The drivers on the pier knew that English males my age tend to like football and so used that to connect with me.

They spoke completely differently to a French couple standing next to me, and to a group of Australian girls who were travelling together.

They knew their audiences, and tailored their approach accordingly.

Number 2 – Evoke a response.

Imagine you said your message or headline, in person, to someone in your target audience.

Would they be amused, impressed, surprised, or moved in any way?

If not, then it’s falling short.

This is true engagement, and if you don’t stand out to your audience then they won’t engage.

And if they don’t engage, you don’t have a relationship to build on.

And finally – Follow through with great service.

Though it didn’t work on me on the pier, it did work in other instances.

And in those instances I left the biggest tips when the service that was delivered matched the approach that turned me into a customer to begin with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know this is a lot easier to do when it’s just one person selling to another, but with the number of tools and data available these days, it’s possible to scale this approach and make successful for any business.

Still not convinced it’s important?

Here’s another little anecdote.

I have a friend in Bali who started up a business there.

On his first work trip to Bali he was approached in a similar way at the airport and met a driver called Richard.

Several months later, my friend now uses Richard on a regular basis, and recommends him to friends who come and visit, as well as other expats that he met.

That’s every step of the funnel – awareness, consideration, conversion, retention, and advocacy, all coming from one good greeting and conversation.

So let me end with a question – how do you start a conversation with your customers?

Thanks for watching, I’ll be back soon with more.

Tam Al-Saad

Tam Al-Saad

Head of Growth at Webprofits
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 12 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously. With a strong digital marketing background and broad business experience, he’s perfectly suited to head up Web Profit’s marketing initiatives as Head of Growth.

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One response to “How do you stand out from the crowd?”

  1. Maree says:

    Just starting out . Great article. Funny as I opened your article in my hotel room in Bali. After escaping a mauling from local transporters.

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