“New mouth, New rules!” — The Doctor

Worried that your marketing sounds a lot like everyone else’s? It happens. To the best of us! Usually because we’re too insecure to throw away those sales page blueprints and email templates and create our own path. We’re afraid to stop listening to the advice of the A-Listers and Influencers for just five minutes and do a gut check with ourselves.

The Doctor has just what you need.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with Time Lords and weeping angels, I promise you’ll find these tips helpful the next time you feel stuck or even fearful about your marketing.

To start, let’s take a look at a particular scene from Doctor Who: The Doctor (a Time Lord; probably the only one left in the Universe) has just regenerated for the 11th time in nearly 900 years. What’s important to note is that he is still himself. With all the memories and wisdom that entails. But — and this is crucial, too — he’s also new and different. A fresh slant on the old Doctor. He looks different. He has new tastes. New quirks. A whole new personality. (If we were talking about marketing, we might call it a brand refresh.)

And because the process takes/creates an enormous amount of energy, the Doctor usually finds himself a bit out of sorts afterward (much like you and I do after a long biz planning session). This time around he is (ahem) astronomically hungry. The problem? The foods his last body loved so much no longer meet his needs…

Did you catch all those beautiful marketing lessons? Here’s what I saw:

Stay relevant. 

If your branding no longer serves you or your mission, it’s probably time to make a change. And to do that, you need to…

Nurture a Beginner’s Mind.

Try to approach your topic without preconceived notions of what will “work” or what “needs” to be done. Instead, reach down deep and turn up the volume on your enthusiasm and optimistic nature. There’ll be plenty of time later to let that crotchety old nag in your head back into the picture. If you’ve not done this before, you might feel a bit wibbly-wobbly. But keep at it. With practice, you’ll soon re-discover the awe-inducing power of looking at things with the eyes of a child.

Experiment freely.

Instead of copying how “everyone else” does something, ask yourself What if questions. And then take some action and see what happens.

Express yourself!

Love or hate something? Then say so. Don’t just go along with the crowd because you’re worried about looking silly or hurting someone’s feelings. Usually, if you’re passionately for or against something, that’s a huge clue about who you really are as a human being and a business owner. Leverage that in your branding. You can start by writing a manifesto. Don't be afraid of weird combinations in your marketing

Don’t be afraid of weird combinations.

Remember the old Reese’s commercial? You’ve got your chocolate in my peanut butter was a huge success precisely because people didn’t expect that particular mix of ingredients. Fish fingers and custard are like that, too. What two juxtaposed ideas or topics could you combine? (Marketing and Cooking are my two things — sometimes I even throw in a little sci-fi!)

Use what you’ve got on hand.

Open your metaphorical fridge and take a look at what’s in there. Do an inventory of your assets. There might be a few wonderful surprises waiting for you. You might not need to invest in any more “tools” or “programs” to find real business satisfaction.

Build on the greatness.

Once you’ve discovered something that really grabs people by the juevos, turn up the marketing volume and create more opportunities for your audience to get involved. The BBC saw the power of that Doctor Who episode and decided to create an Official Intergalactic Fish Fingers and Custard Day (It’s next week! April 3rd). And a quick online search for “Fish Fingers and Custard” yields over 340,000 results — with everything from fan videos to recipes. That’s a lot of audience participation and extra PR. And it’ll go a long way toward solidifying the fans’ love for the Doctor Who brand.

What current offering could you leverage in similar ways? Are there other marketing lessons hiding in this dish? Share your thoughts in a comment below and let’s brainstorm!

p.s. – Fellow Whovians seeking more Doctor Who marketing tips might want to check out this post and this inforgraphic.