Weird is wonderful

Weird isn’t bad. Weird is humanising. It is time for an anti sameness movementDon’t give in to the trendy thing, the best. Weird is a discussion point. Weird wins the marketing milliseconds. Weird is different. Different is better. That is what marketing should be about. That is why I am a fan of “Different.

Weird is authentic

Being different is the bold (and italic) amplification of your own idiosyncrasies, of your authentic self. That’s why it is always better, and that’s why it always wins. You should be less concerned about what other people think and far more concerned with how the right people think and what makes them take notice, desire, and buy your product or service. 

Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored!

That is why I like “Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored!”. In the author’s view, the lack of marketing—good, effective, different marketing—is the driving reason for small business mediocrity and stunted growth. It is your own fault. People can only ever buy what they are aware exists. If your solution is better, you have to make them notice. You should not write a marketing plan. You should have an attention plan. You must take complete control of your own lead generation. Paid advertising is the fine for not being different, and a lack of consistent prospects is your prison sentence.


It starts with a fundamental question: What’s your greater why? Your mission to market isn’t about you alone. It is about something much, much bigger. The mission statement from the strategic box.

Using six statements as a strategic filter. Vision, values, passion, purpose, positioning and resources as the frames of the window you use to look at the world. What is inside the box is very relevant, and what is outside of the box is less so. Your targets adjust every 100 days.

Where are you better?

  • Who or what is your enemy?
  • Name something you do better than the competition. 
  • Are your services more thorough? Do you provide a better customer experience? 
  • Are you more available to your clients? Does your product last longer? D
  • Does your staff make your client feel better than the competitors? 
  • Do you understand the client’s needs better?

You have a millisecond

The simple truth is that marketing happens in milliseconds, not months. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an ad must have viewer attention for at least a second for it to have any chance of success. If a prospect moves on from your marketing in less than one second, in the milliseconds, you’ve lost them. The average blink is—get this—two hundred and fifty milliseconds. Thoughts can be spawned and acted upon in less than one hundred and fifty milliseconds. In other words, it takes longer to blink than it does to cognitively notice something and consider what to do with it. In a way, the world is a web page, and we are constantly scanning, looking for what is different, if it’s for us, and if there is a clear action to take.

You need to market differently

Waiting for customers to refer you isn’t marketing. Word of mouth is a wonderful, albeit haphazard, source of opportunity when it happens. You can’t afford to advertise like everyone else. You are doing what you think works. And that is the problem. If you mirror your competition, you are doing the one thing that guarantees invisibility. Better is not better. Different is better. Different is where you stand out within an instant, within the marketing millisecond. Different is marketing in a way that no one else in the room does. Marketing is not a game of hide-and-seek. It is a mission to be as obvious and noticeable as a lighthouse. Don’t hope to be found. Demand people see you. Dare to be different. The world depends on it.

The Science behind different

Have you ever noticed how quickly you can get over things? How quickly do things become more of the same blah, blah, blah? When something is different, the reticular formation triggers a cascading effect in the brain to analyse the situation, and the first priority is threat analysis. We’re still cave people when it comes to mental processing, and our brains still filter out the familiar and only take notice when something is different.

The DAD framework

Marketing is every step you take to get the customer to the buying decision, and the sale is the final action on their decision to buy.

Differentiate: Do different to get noticed. Identify a marketing approach that stands out in a sea of sameness.

Attract: Attract in a way that attracts your ideal prospects. Ensure that your approach will appeal to the people you want to serve, not turn them off. Attract for engagement. Sustained attraction comes from seeing a benefit and feeling appropriate safety in the pursuit of it.

Direct: Directs them to act. Your clear, singular directive should get the prospect to the next step. Along with being specific, the direct step must be reasonable. Keep it simple. Adding steps and giving too many options creates friction. If you confuse, you lose.

Different is just a series of steps

Small steps are the antidote to rejection. Different is not some massive change. It rarely is. Small changes that are different win. Your difference could be just different enough to get noticed. A few new sounds. Random patterns. 

  1. Come up with an approach that inspires you to say, “No one does that,” you have found a different idea.
  2. If you could target only one hundred prospects, who would they be? 
  3. Define your ideal offer. What specifically is it about your offer that your ideal customers benefit from most?
  4. Define your ideal marketing outcome. The ultimate goal of all marketing is to achieve what you want.
  5. What Are You Willing to Invest? Here is a critical question for you: What is the lifetime value (LTV) of landing your ideal customer,
  6. What are the close rate odds: If you put forth your best effort, what are the chances you will land this customer? Investment per Prospect: Knowing your odds, how much are you willing to invest per marketing attempt to get one of these customers?
  7. Analyse the typical way is your competitors market the same or similar offers to your shared prospects?
  8. Try a marketing medium that no one else in your industry typically does.

Change your perception

  • Roadblock removal: everything is possible
  • Inspirational objects: pick something that inspires you
  • Outrageous thoughts: go wild
  • Consider how a famous person—living or dead—might market your offer.
  • Identify the ordinary and the obscure.
  • What if you had to market your product to a specific person you know?
  • What if you had to narrow your marketing to include only one feature and one benefit?
  • What is atypical about your offer? What does no one else talk about?
  • What if you could not use any of the standard marketing approaches your industry uses?
  • What are the reasons people should not use your offer?
  • What doesn’t your product do? What features doesn’t it have? How does that make your product or service even better?
  • Discover Your “Est” The -est is the superlative of something. The est gets noticed. The est gets remembered. A simple web search of “words ending in -est” results in thousands of words, which would satisfy even the persnicketiest of wordsmiths.
  • Blend it. With the blend technique, you want to study people outside your industry to market, at least in part, the way they do.
  • Consider how the following types of people might approach marketing your offer: Your mother, grandmother, or mother-in-law, religious leaders, flight attendants, Tarzan, mixed martial artists, lifeguards, pilots, bartenders, farmers, TV hosts, exotic dancers, librarians or clowns.
  • Look at your historical offering, the main thing you do. Then, record the last step that you take immediately before delivering the final offer. Now, consider how you could change your offer based on that step. Here’s where it gets interesting. Take one more step back. What happens before that prior step? Keep rewinding step-by-step until you have identified all the significant steps you take to get to your historical offer.
  • Find opposites and loopholes. Make a list of the standard aspects of your offer and your industry. Then consider what the rules of your industry are. What does everyone do (or not do), without question? What is never allowed? What is expected? What is a given? Then, look at each standard on your list and think of the opposite of each rule and think of the loophole.
  • Think like a reporter. Come up with ideas is to think like a reporter. Ask YourselF is, ‘Is this newsworthy? What would get the media’s attention? A good, unique story. 
  • Say, “Yes, and….. It’s a rule of improv called “yes, and . . .” It allows for the flow of ideas to continue, and it’s the reason why it’s so much fun to watch—and do—improv.
  • Kick around possibilities without judgment or modification. Make a see-through billboard sign. Use scent marketing to promote your professional services.
  • Make pace and time for different.
  • Ask, “who else benefits?”
  • What if you tried a different way? 
  • What if you tried a different sales approach? 
  • What if you borrowed a product or service delivery system from a completely different industry? 
  • What if you bucked conventional wisdom, set aside industry norms, and tried something completely out of the box?
  • What if you weren’t concerned about scalability? 
  • Send out the request within twenty-four hours of thinking it. If you don’t get enough positive responses (deposits), seek feedback on what needs to change.
  • What if the inability to scale something was just an industry myth, and you can, in fact, grow it? What would you offer? Or how would you deliver your offer differently?
  • Share details on your idea with your community. Inoculate them to the inevitable bumps and bruises. Then ask your community if they want your thing.
  • Involve your beta customers in improving your thing.
  • Create a mad lab.
  • Stay true to who you are.

The steps

Step 1: Identify three mediums to deliver your marketing that are the most compelling.

Step 2: Start generating different marketing ideas for the medium you choose.

Step 3: Review the ideas you have created and pick your best option. Which one do you feel has the most potential, even if it makes you a little nervous?

Step 4: Lastly, ask yourself, “Does DAD approve” your idea?

Just remember that outrageous marketing does get noticed, but if it’s incongruent with the desired engagement, that outrageousness becomes an oddity and something to be avoided.

Analyse your relationship

Is your potential client someone superior, someone equal, or someone inferior? Direction must fit the position, or it falls flat.

  • If you are in a superior position, tell them the action to take. Commanding verbs are the strongest action statement.
  • If you are seen as an equal, then invite them to “join our community”.
  • And if you are in the inferior position, where your community feels that you will gain from their knowledge, resources, or abilities, petition them to take action with messages such as “share your experience” or “tell us how to serve you.”


Now go and do it. Take action fast. The more time you give yourself to think about your idea, the less likely you are to do it. Start with the smallest, easiest element of your different idea and build from there. And stick with it. You’ll never know if your get different experiment works if you give up on it before you hit statistical significance. And you need to give it enough time to do its magic. Don’t start and stop. Don’t rush the experiment. 

Flopping is good

Through the process of flopping, you’ll generate spectacular winners, for sure. On the flip side, we hesitate to try fresh ideas because there are no stats out there saying they will work. You need to break down our marketing ideas from grand “marketing plans” to doable “marketing experiments.”

Sell the tell 

One sure way to figure out whether your offer will get traction is to sell it before you create it. Sell the tell, not the thing—yet.

How do you know it works

Trust wallets, not words. Run tests on deas to judge interest by actual interest, demand by actual demand, to determine whether people would be willing to pay for something by actually paying for something. Please don’t bank on nice comments from the people who love you. When they buy from you, consider it a donation, not proof that they genuinely love your thing. Confirm your marketing idea works by asking your target prospects (i.e., strangers) for money upfront. Get a deposit or even the full amount. Ask strangers to give you something in exchange—an email, a phone number, a buck. You get the truth through currency exchanges with strangers.

Don’t grow up

We want to belong. “Grow up” becomes code for “fall in line Colour inside the lines. Confirm.” Do. What. Is. Expected. No thanks. Different wins when reinventing business and reinventing marketing. You want your businesses to grow, not grow up. If you let your business comply with all things “expected,” you will lose your ability to stand out in the marketplace. Let your business grow, do not grow up.

sensemaking cover


Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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