The ONE Thing Great Marketers and Leaders Do That the Ordinary Don’t

As Seth Godin would say, it has become more important than ever to be remarkable. But what does remarkable really mean? By definition, it means worthy of attention, striking — but in the context of marketing…?

Marketers have been grappling with this question for a long time. What can we do to be remarkable? How can we show that we’re remarkable? I think there’s one thing we can do, and that’s to challenge the status quo both internally and externally. Consider this quote from Apple:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Directly challenging the status quo creates two major emotional impulses: inspiration and connection. Both of these impulses build a sense of curiosity in consumers that drives demand, which is ultimately what every marketer wants — demand for their own products or services over anyone else’s. It’s not mass marketing, but it’s personalized marketing. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Vidyard and Wistia

Both of these companies are doing an amazing job inspiring other companies to use video to tell a story. We all love YouTube and often enjoy watching more than reading, but shooting a video and publishing it has been an achilles heel for many companies for years. Fortunately, Wistia and Vidyard have challenged the status quo and made video marketing possible for all of us. Even Pardot does a weekly “Smarter Marketing” video series with no professional video agency, just a couple of internal folks getting together and cranking out content to make a point or share an idea. It’s that simple. It helps us connect with our followers in more than one way, on more than one channel, and it allows us to create a personal connection with our speakers.


Precor is another great company that connects customers, inspires, and drives engagement in a whole new way. They not only connect dealers and service providers but also their products with their consumers. They know when someone is online or interested in their products, so when that prospect calls in or walks into one of their dealerships, the manager at the dealership can have a personalized conversation. Now that’s the service we all hope for — but it’s hard to get unless you’re walking into your usual coffee shop where they know your name and order without having to ask (i.e. “the usual!”).

The one thing we can ALL do is challenge the status quo in order to inspire and connect with your employees internally and customers externally. What other companies have you seen challenging the status quo? Feel free to share in the comments!

personalization with automation