When I first watched Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive coin the phrase “Real Company Sh*t”, I assumed that he had just put many folks in my industry out of business. Companies now had a very simple mantra for what to do with their marketing challenges, or filling their sales funnels, because Wil had put it so succinctly, so simply, that I assumed that most anyone could understand what he meant.
As months have gone by, I have found many companies still do not understand the meaning behind “Real Company Sh*t”, and are suffering for it. I’ve actually received messages from clients asking: “Hey, J.C., I keep seeing this hash tag #RCS being bandied about, can you tell me what it means? Some smartass told me it was short for “real company sh*t”; now is that real, or was he f%#&ing with me?”
I kid you not.
I told him that it was actually the true meaning of the tag, and he asked me (a man who has been in business for almost 20 years) Okay, J.C., just what is “Real Company Sh*t?” So, I told him and he gets it now, but not until after we had one of those “Cha-Ching moments”- the reasons why we are in business to begin with, right?
Understanding that there are thousands of businesses out there that have totally missed the point about #RCS – Creative Ways to Do the Stuff Businesses have ALWAYS DONE) Let me remind you, that if you are in business and you want to be successful, there are a few choices you need to make.
- Are you going to solve a problem?
- Are you going to fulfill a need or desire?
- Are you going to provide a consistently positive experience?
- Are you going to provide obvious value?
- Are you going to get the word out?
That is it folks. Simple, right? Those 5 points are successful business. Fail any one of them, and your business will fail too. Indeed, when venture capitalists ignore those five points, you end up with Pets.com, Webvan, or America Onilne.
Allow me to translate those five points into marketing-speak:
- Customer Service
- Market Research
- Corporate Branding
- Service or Product Expertise
Instead of drilling down on these, let’s talk about my two favorite brands; Singapore Airlines and In-N-Out Burger, umkay? We are going to apply those 5 points to these two organizations, even though we really do not have to. This is because from a Branding perspective, nobody does it better.
When you read the words “Singapore Airlines” images popped into your head that are there because Singapore covers all five of the points above, regardless of which set of five you looked at. The same is true for In-N-Out Burger; you only replaced that beautiful flight attendant in your mind’s image, with an even more beautiful Cheeseburger. Do not even try to deny it. :-)
Let’s put Singapore Airlines to my #RCS Test:
- I need to get where I am going – Check.
- I WANT to travel safely and comfortably – Check
- I got a full massage in First Class – Oh yes…Check, baby. Check.
- I’d have paid double, so – Check, Check
- My experience was so awesome, I use them as example in my writing, so – Check.
When a business becomes a near-fantasy experience, they have done their #RCS in spades.
Now, In-N-Out Burger:
- I’m Hungry – Check
- I love Cheeseburgers, and I don’t like to wait long for them – Check
- Double-Double Cheeseburgers are consistently AMAZING. *burp*, uh…Check.
- Two Double-Doubles with fries and a shake cost less than $10. Check, Please.
- “Mommy, why are all those people standing in that long line at that Burger place?”
I’ve never seen a TV commercial for In-N-Out Burger, but if you live in the west, you will quickly discover that everyone knows who they are, and can recite their favorite order. (Mine is “animal-style”, of course) #RCS? You *burb* betcha. scuse’ me… :-)The massive lines at In-N-Out Burger
Yet, many (most) businesses find this hard to emulate. Why?
I truly believe the Internet is largely to blame. Think back to before the Internet existed in your business life. What did you do to attract business back then? People look at the options in the online world for business and they just freak out.
They put up a website and post everything short of their last prostate exam on their pages. Reams and reams of text, images, or worse: Flash animations on their web sites, without understanding that the people who arrive on their web site only want to know what you do, how you do it, what it will cost, what’s in it for them, and can your business be trusted. Five THINGS. Are we establishing a meme, yet?
30 years ago, businesses managed to capture an audience attention in the time it took for them to whiz past their messaging at 55-65 miles per hour, but you can’t manage to make a connection with your badass web site? What is wrong with you, Bunkie? Tell them! #RCS that mo-fo!
Tell them what you do, and that you are better than the next person is. Give them the option of learning more. Do not drown them with lofty marketing jargon. You cannot establish an emerging market in 30 seconds, and frankly, that is all you have to work with, before they click off your site in search of a solution elsewhere.
If you have ever seen the words ‘Paradigm’ or “Thought-Leader” on a billboard, I guarantee you, the business that paid for the billboard, frankly sucks.
On a billboard near my former home in Encinitas, CA, a company called “SpyOptics” – a sunglasses business, paid recently for a billboard that said, “Happy to sit on your face”. <—- Massive #RCS, baby! Local citizens went ballistic, and in a few days, the billboard was removed. However, not before helping SpyOptics take up space in the minds of hundreds of thousands of potential buyers. Not only from the billboard, but also from news coverage generated from the controversy.
Simply Brilliant Marketing, done on the cheap, and more effective than any web site, or social media presence could have ever accomplished in the same amount of time.
I only wish I had thought of it first. At last check, that company’s sales have exploded in growth. Enough said.
“So, J.C., what about Social Media?”
The same 5 points applies Social Media, as much as to any other form of customer outreach or engagement. Both In-N-Out and Singapore Airlines use Social Media to solve problems and provide additional value to their audiences. In-N-Out Burger uses Social Media to distribute a guide to all of their restaurant locations, and help you to find the nearest restaurant to you.
They also have a Company store, and job listings. Well-done value adds – jargon free.
Singapore Airlines Facebook page begins with a gorgeous background image, and then proceeds to share information about their award-winning head-chef, then allow you to view special content that tells you about their history up to the present day in a series called “The Future Takes Flight”.
I could list other examples of these and many other fine companies who are doing #RCS to appeal to their audiences in all the ways listed above. Your challenge for your business is to accomplish the same or get used to mediocrity and drudgery as you struggle to compete for every customer.
The point I am making, is that real #RCS is platform independent. It is not about technology, or industry jargon and buzzwords, or web pages full of relevant keywords. It is about being so creative, as to dare to look back to a time when we did not have all these wonderful communications options, and had to use guile and standards to win the day. It is about a quality experience. It is about trust.
#RCS is not just for marketing. Companies have solved each of the five business challenges listed above in brilliant ways since the days of Henry Ford. Copy them! At last check, there was no copyright on successful business practices. You do not have to re-invent the wheel. If you need help with your business, look for my amazing staff at TekPersona, and let us see what we can do.
Yes, #RCS is something I have thought about often since being introduced to it. I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Reynolds speak at SearchFest PDX this past year, and he was by far the most entertaining and engaging person from the search marketing world I’ve encountered in 6 years in the business.
This is especially true for SEO, where lots of underhanded tricks are employed by people looking to scam Google into cheap conversions. Do Real Company Shit and not only will you NOT have to worry about Google cracking down on you, you’ll actually have good content to offer your customers, and they’ll continue to find you in ever-increasing numbers.
I could not have said it better, Adam. Thanks for reading! Someday, I hope to match Wil’s speaking skills in being both entertaining and informative someday.
Great explanation. When you say that RCS isn’t just for marketing, I could not agree more. I would go one step further to say it is not just for business, it can be applied to all aspects of life.
Ask yourself, how can I provide real value to the people in my life? What can I give my boss that will not just get the job done but provide meaningful value to her? How can I be of real service to my wife and children? Think vertex of Mazlow’s pyramid. They are not hungry and they have shelter, what can I do to truly make their lives better?
I really believe that Wil is on to something bigger than a marketing principle. RCS has inspired me to think outside myself and look at what effect I am having on the people I have contact with. Challenge yourself to provide real company sh*t to everyone you meet, it will change your life.
Wow, Frank! What an excellent perspective. I think that is an excellent way to look at the principle of #RCS.
Guys loving the post here, it seems like people are all over the board – https://plus.google.com/u/0/110804616239174166149/posts/5onsDJeqqpz I will say that doing work you are proud of is key, but all of the points above hit on the theme as well. RCS is about delivering an experience that adds value too, if I had to sum it up. I’m definitely not trying to dictate what RCS is / is not, but just what it means to me, I hope the one thing it means to all people is doing hard work that adds value to the recipient. We shall see, we’re just getting started.
J.C. – Great post. I had the pleasure of seeing Wil speak in Boston and NYC and feel he brings a lot of this “common sense” type of stuff to the table which I love. Digging the SpyOptics example as well!