Be more Malik: four lessons for marketers from the Find Malik A Wife dating campaign
Muhammad Malik didn't want to leave love up to Tinder, so he took out billboards from London to Birmingham, causing a sensation in the process - or that was the story until it turned out to be a dating site PR stunt. Earnest's Sarah Przybylak delves into what marketers can learn from Malik.
Earnest on what marketers can learn from Muhammad Malik’s ‘Find Malik A Wife’ dating campaign (Birmingham Mail)
One of my favorite news story of 2022 (yes, it’s the first month of the year but I think this one’s going to stick) is that a British bachelor has taken out billboards in the hope of finding a wife. Admittedly it was later found to be a PR stunt from Muzamatch dating site, but the concept was styled as a genuine self-led stunt, which is why so many were fooled.
In it, 29-year-old Muhammad Malik ran ads in Birmingham and London, directing prospective partners to his page www.findmalikawife.com. Not only was it a lighthearted story but it displayed a number of crucial learnings for B2B marketers to take on board:
1. Define your audience clearly
Malik states on his website that he is looking for a Muslim woman in her 20s. He also lists a few negotiable attributes.
Your product isn’t right for everyone, so don’t cast the net wide. It’ll only put more pressure on your qualification process and waste your sales team’s time. Make your audience clear from the outset and let them self-qualify.
You’re saving everyone time and making your efforts more efficient.
2. Be cognizant of different interpretations of your message – and anticipate objections
Malik’s billboard features an image of him next to the words: ‘Save me from an arranged marriage’.
It’s tongue in cheek, it’s attention grabbing, it’s fun. But Malik understood that to some, especially his community, it could appear to be disrespectful.
And so he tackles this on his website: ‘I think arranged marriages have a place and tradition in many Islamic cultures ... I just want to find someone on my own first.’
It’s important to recognize that your marketing is going to be consumed by a variety of people, with different experiences, beliefs and cultures. As such they will interpret your communications differently.
Question your work and stress test it.
And if what you’re doing could be seen as controversial, be prepared to answer for it before you’re asked.
When it comes to B2B I think a common fear/concern of many B2B buyers and decision makers is: ‘Is this product going to put me and my team out of a job?’
So, how can you address this?
3. Be true to yourself
Malik keeps his website clean and simple, but with enough information that he gives a rounded view of himself.
He details parts of his life that it seems may not have worked well with girlfriends in the past: ‘P.S I’m an only child and look after my mom and dad. If this is a deal-breaker I don’t think it’ll work out.’
And he keeps his values clear and concise: ‘Always personality and faith over anything else!’
He doesn’t provide a never-ending list of attributes, and yet you have a good idea of the type of man he is.
So, what is the single best thing about your product/service? What are your brand’s core values?
Is all this clear in your comms? Or is it buried in a list of benefits and solutions, because you’re trying to appeal to everyone?
If it’s not clear, it might be time to refocus.
4. Make your campaign journey simple and seamless
The campaign takes you from a simple striking billboard with a single call to action (CTA) to a landing page that’s as good as the ad.
It follows the same creative, features a lovely short video, and then gives you more information without overwhelming you.
And the ultimate CTA – the form – is accessible throughout the page.
When it comes to your campaigns, minimize friction within your journey and landing page, and make it easy and enjoyable for your audience to do what you want them to do.
I think the ultimate test of this landing page is that I have not needed to explain it to anyone I have shared it with. It’s all there.
So to Malik, thank you for the excellent campaign. Unfortunately, I am of the wrong age and religion, otherwise I’d be filling in that form. Good luck on your quest.
Sarah Przybylak, head of business development at Earnest.
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