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‘Depth marketing’: How can it revolutionize your approach to new business?

By Jess Ritter, Head of Business Development + Marketing



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February 29, 2024 | 6 min read

Jess Ritter of agency Mas lays out a manifesto for ‘depth marketing’: a new business philosophy with human connection at its core.

Two hands, reaching out to touch at the fingertips

Depth marketing: a new approach to connecting with clients and partners? / Ricardo Gomez Angel Via Unsplash

Growing a business is harder than it has ever been. With nearly every industry seeing layoffs and constantly shifting priorities, it can be tough to get prospective clients, users, and consumers to take a chance on a new partnership or buy an unknown product.

The solution? ‘Depth marketing’: a strategy that prioritizes going deeper with your existing community and potential customers. Think of your new business strategy as a person-to-person approach and not a business-to-business process. You’ll be amazed at how a human-centric shift in perspective will influence your bottom line.

Start-ups and small businesses looking to take their companies to the next level need depth marketing now more than ever. It allows businesses to ‘harness the humanity’ in everything they do, before prioritizing cold email lists, ChatGPT shortcuts, and automation. Here’s how to make the shift to a depth marketing mindset.

1. Be the friend

Building business relationships is about becoming a better friend – one who supports others, gives the best advice, and wants to be involved in their friends’ lives. Start by literally ‘friending’ your leads on Instagram, connecting on LinkedIn, checking in with colleagues, and asking for nothing in return.

The biggest friendship move is to help others in your industry succeed in their business goals (submit them for accolades within their industry, research the brand, and solve a problem for them — heck, even send them a job posting).

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2. Be authentic

Your brand is not going to be everything to everyone. Nor should it be.

From a services standpoint, dig into what makes your brand special and valuable to prospective buyers. Your buyers should align with your brand’s values and goals; don’t adjust your services to every buyer who lands on your doorstep. Know your strengths and allow them to guide you.

Authenticity is king on social media: so if you are true to your values and culture, you will be amazed at the social proof that will follow.

3. Be more

Don’t always be about the sale. Find ways to connect with prospects without the ‘business’ talk. At Mas, I created the More Awards, an awards program developed to recognize and mentor diverse small businesses and startups focused on creating a more inclusive world – as we at Mas like to say, those committed to doing more. By inviting top prospects to be on the judging panel we are able to connect as people with a shared do-good mission. Nearly every judge has become a client after being a part of the experience.

4. Be in it to win it

Life is long and so is business development. While we see typical sales funnel life cycles of 6 to 18 months in the events industry, I have pursued top targets for over 4 years before any formal partnership.

Don’t give up on your wishlist clients, major goals, etc. No doors are ever closed when you lead with human connection.

5. Be the hype person

Marketing has to go hand-in-hand with new business and is a way to show value and social proof to prospective clients. Rack up awards, boost social, plug into influencers, go to industry events and conferences, or serve on panels.

Don’t have an ‘in’ with any publications, awards programs, or influencers? I didn’t either when I started, but I approached every contact as a human being and a friend. Don’t know any influencers? Get to know them and be a fan. You’ll be surprised how many influencers really do know their super fans. Of course, Taylor Swift is a long shot but wouldn’t that just be like her to actually interact with you on social? We can dream.

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MAS is an award-winning experience agency serving some of the most iconic, innovative brands in the world. Minority-led and founded, we’ve built our team with...

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