Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! This is one of our favorite holidays at Compulse. It’s a great day to talk like a pirate, make jokes about booty and carry a parrot around, but it’s also a good time to think about your marketing. Are you a marketing pirate?

What is a marketing pirate?

A marketing pirate is someone who takes someone else’s marketing ideas. And it’s a good thing to be.

Taking someone else’s ideas is wrong – isn’t it?

Pablo Picasso [allegedly] once said “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Copying is simply reproducing what someone else does. It’s safe, but it’s not earth-shattering. Taking someone else’s ideas in this context means taking something from someone else then creating something new with it so that the imitation is invisible. This is what good marketers do.

You could spend your entire life struggling to come up with one truly original marketing idea and never succeed. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, look at the world around you to get inspired.

How to start finding inspiration

  • Look at your competitors. What kind of ads do they run? On what channels and platforms? How do they talk to their audience? What do they offer the audience? What do they ask of that audience in return? Have they done something so effective that you wish it had been your idea? It can be – identify what about their tactic worked and then consider how it could work for your business.
  • Look at businesses completely unrelated to yours. How do they advertise? How do they keep customers coming back? Do they have different rules they play by or go-to tactics? What if you were to try one of those tactics out – what might it look like?
  • Look at the world around you. What ideas, stories, mediums, concepts, products or events have people captivated? What images do you keep seeing on social media? Are there viral videos that your target audience widely shares? Even if something seems unrelated to your business, do a thought exercise where you play out how it could be related.People are excited for Halloween – what if your store gave out candy on the big day? Everyone seems to be eating avocados – can your pizza shop concoct a recipe that uses them and then host a special party where your best customers can try it for free?You don’t have to actually do everything – or anything – you come up with, but grabbing ideas with power behind them and considering how they might support your business goals is a great way to break out of a marketing rut.

How to take ideas the right way

Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to find ideas for the taking. The hard part is doing something impactful with the ideas you take. Once you’re entertaining an idea, ask yourself these questions for help applying:

  • What would my existing and potential customers think or feel if I did this? What could I change about it so that it would resonate with them even more?
  • How does this idea fit into the brand I’ve built and the expectations my audience has? What could I do to better align the execution with our brand’s identity and business goals?
  • What if I changed a key variable of the concept in my execution – what would happen then? The message, the medium – think through different possibilities.

For International Talk Like a Pirate Day, consider marketing like a pirate too: find the best booty (ideas) out there and then transform your favorite into an idea that fits your business’ branding, goals and means.

Need a first mate? The experts at Compulse can help guide your [metaphorical] pirate ship through the waters of the digital marketing landscape. Our swashbuckling crew will help you identify the most promising ideas out there and execute them in the way that will help your business grow. To learn more, drop us a line, matey!