Andrew (AKA Drew) Davis, marketing speaker, bestselling author, and founder of Tippingpoint Labs. He wrote the book Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, and donates some of his time on a daily basis to nonprofits and others who need marketing advice.

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I invited Andrew to Marketing Smarts to discuss his ideas about "fractal marketing"—breaking your audience down into smaller and smaller segments until you find a niche that's not currently being served. Then, you can dominate that market segment.

Our conversation, recorded live in Boston, delves into Andrew's background in show business and how it helped to launch his marketing career. We also cover the value of brand partnerships and how companies can select the right brand partners so that everyone wins.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

Every marketer has "the idea that got away" (09:29): "If I go to award ceremonies, I'm always waiting for a category like 'Best Concept that Never Got Executed.' I think it would be the greatest award ever. I think part of creating great content is learning what to pitch, who to pitch [it to], and how to pitch. We've had lots of great, outlandish ideas that never went anywhere, but then someone did it five years later and you send the client your 'I told you so' email... My 'one big idea that got away...' was for Tom Tom...a GPS device manufacturer... We pitched essentially a roadside attraction...content concept that was essentially Cannon Ball Run meets modern geocaching... It looked like a reality TV show. They loved the idea, but they were really disappointed that it didn't include the basics of what people do every day, like go to get laundry, and they were supposed to use their GPS to do that. I don't know anyone that needs to type in GPS coordinates [in their own neighborhood]. We were trying to inspire people to go on a summer road trip to see some of these crazy American sights that don't exist anywhere.'

Competitors can promote shared interests and both win (16:18): "Clustering your perfect competition is this idea that when you think of getting coffee in the morning, you think of Starbucks. When your husband thinks about breakfast in the morning, he thinks of Dunkin' Donuts. What both Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts are trying to get people to do is go buy more coffee and have more breakfast, and if they were going to partner together, it would be to encourage more people to get coffee and eat more breakfast. They'll both win, and the more people that do it, the more successful both of them will be."

Nonprofits, if you need marketing advice, just ask (17:45): "I basically schedule 30 minutes a day to give away free advice to anyone who will take it. Actually, they don't even have to take it, if they just want to talk to me about something! I spend most of my time wandering around the world speaking, and meet lots of great people that just need some one-on-one time, some help or insight. They always want to tell me what they're trying to do... I think giving back to nonprofits is an easy way for me to give back... Any nonprofit out there, give me a call, I'm happy to help.

If you're too shy to call, here's some general advice for nonprofits (19:03): "The common denominator would be 'I'm doing everything right (I think) on social media, but I'm not seeing people donate more or get more involved. What am I doing wrong?' It usually boils down to they're not exactly sure who they're trying to convince to do what, and that's the problem. They're all good at talking about who they serve, and what they do. What great value they provide in the world, but they're not very good at inspiring me to...volunteer or to take a few minutes and donate to their fund... The key is to know exactly who in the past has been successful in giving you money (or donate time). What inspired them to do it? And then find more of those people and express the same message... The key is to dive deep enough and go far enough back to figure out what the inspiration was. What was the trigger that made them get involved?"

Find a niche to get rich (21:13): "A fractal is a self-similar repeating pattern. If you've seen Froze, there's a lyric about 'frozen fractals all around.' A snowflake is a good example of a fractal. The more you zoom in on pieces of the snowflake, it looks as similar as the big snowflake... You'll keep seeing a snowflake no matter how deep you zoom in. The online world is the same way. Essentially, no mater who you think you're targeting, if you're trying to target small business owners and sell accounting shouldn't just target every small business owner. You should start dividing and subdividing those. Are you targeting small business owners that have an office and are most often in their office, or are you targeting small business owners who spend a lot of time on the road? All of a sudden, they have very different needs. The small business owner who's always on the road needs a mobile solution for their accounting software. You need to think about their problems. Where do they put their receipts in the car? So you keep dividing and subdividing as far down the tree as you can go, so that you find a point at which you can be highly relevant and you can really target an audience with a message that resonates."

You can order Andrew's book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, on Amazon. To learn more about Andrew, visit, or follow him on Twitter: @PLDrew.

Nonprofits seeking marketing advice can contact Andrew via Twitter (@TPLDrew) and arrange a time to talk.

Andrew and I discussed much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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