The art of marketing, without marketing

By: Richard Michie

Marketing campaigns happen around most people, you’re not supposed to notice you’re being marketed to. Marketers, like us, want you to make your own mind up, we’ll provide the nudge you need to realise you need that new sparkly object, but we don’t want you to realise you’ve been marketed to.

To paraphrase Bruce Lee, this is the art of marketing, without marketing

One clever application of this principal is launching on January 24th on Virgin Radio, when Chris Evans moves from Radio 2 to Virgin Radio.

Love him or loath him Chris Evans pulls in radio listeners and Richard Branson knows it. So, getting him to move from Radio 2 to Virgin Radio is quite a coup.

But Virgin has a problem, the ads.

Dyed in the wool Radio 2 listeners, don’t like commercial radio because of the horrible ads for double glazing, funeral services and birthday cards involving pigeons. As that’s the traditional way to fund commercial radio Virgin have a problem, great host on a media consumers don’t like.

This is where Virgin Radio, Branson and Evans pulled off a marketing masterstroke. Chris Evans new breakfast show has no ads. Meaning the barrier to switching is gone. “I love Chris Evans but hate the ads” is no longer and argument, making switching easier.

But how are they going to fund Evans’ massive pay packet?

Simple, they are going to become the BBC for the duration of the show. In a stroke of marketing genius, the whole show is supported by Sky. So just like the BBC they’ll have Sky News providing the bulletins, they’ll review TV and Films which are showing on Sky, they’ll trail upcoming promotions on Sky. But rather than be interrupted but ads all this content will be woven into the show, meaning you won’t notice you’re being marketed to.

All this may seem like smoke and mirrors and that because it is.

With the BBC under pressure to lower the wage bill, Evans’ breakfast show on Radio 2 losing listeners, Virgin Radio needing a kick-start and Sky always wanting to increase their coverage over the BBC, this is a perfect storm which will suit everyone involved.

Except may be the listeners, but only time will tell.

Would you like to use the art of marketing, without marketing for your business? Give us a call on 07834 197785 or fill in the form and we’ll be right round.

Image Credit: James Cridland on Flikr



Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

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