Oilfield theft is a serious problem. Inside Energy penned an article back in 2015 where the FBI-led Oilfield Theft Task Force in Midland said they were, “…averaging between $400,000 and $800,000 a month in theft.”
Unfortunately for them, they can’t stop me. And neither can you, copper! Yeah, see! You’ll never catch me, see!
The greatest thing about marketing is you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. It’s all been done before and much better than you could ever do. All you have to do is find companies that are killing it, and copy what they do.
This post is going to show you exactly how to steal ideas from the top companies in the industry. Oceans 12 ain’t gonna have nothing on you!
But, before we go too far down this road, let’s make one thing abundantly clear; it is NEVER OKAY to steal content and actual concepts. There is a YUGE difference between emulating and modeling things you like and straight-up lifting brand execution.
We’re going to discuss how to steal design *ideas* and revenue growth *tactics*. Strong emphasis on ideas and tactics. It is perfectly okay to use the font color from Statoil’s logo. It is NOT OKAY to use their logo or tagline.
Disclaimers out of the way, we may now proceed with clear consciences and only the highest of ideals in mind. Seriously, though, let’s get this money.
#1 Use Inspect Element to Steal Fonts
When you watch television, the image is made up of thousands of pixels. It would be awesome to inspect those pixels and figure out why your favorite show looks so damn cool. While that’s totally impossible on television, it’s not only possible online, it’s stupid easy to do.
Both Chrome and Firefox come with a neat little “Inspect Element” feature. Use it to discover the fonts behind your favorite websites.
We’ve already talked at length about how to steal ideas from Salesforce in the past. Continuing with that theme, go to their website. In Chrome, select text on the page, right-click, and then click “Inspect”.
After you click “Inspect”, the line of code with that word gets highlighted below. If you have never worked with code, this can be as confusing as Mandarin Chinese. Not to worry, it’s not a hard as it looks.
Since we’re after the font, hover over the window to the right and scroll down. Keep scrolling until you see “font-family”. Here we can see (though it’s pretty blurry), Salesforce uses its own branded “SalesforceSans” font.
You might be thinking… Great. You showed me how to find something I can’t use anyways. Thanks, James!
Hold up, not so fast. SalesforceSans is a Sans Serif font, which is one of the most popular typefaces used online.
If you like SalesforceSans, you can easily find similar fonts. Here are 10 and where you can buy them. If you’re not in the market to purchase typeface, simply search Google Fonts for Sans Serif and use your favorite.
Incidentally, you can also use Inspect Element to steal colors from your favorite websites. Just right click on the part of the site you like, and then look for the color hex code in the right panel where you found the font-family … Criminal oilfield theft!
#2 Use Get Colors from Image to Steal Colors
When you’re out in the wild exploring for ideas to steal, every so often you’ll find a situation where Inspect Element doesn’t do the trick. That’s where Get Colors from Image comes in handy.
When we re-branded Tribe Rocket Inc. at the beginning of 2016, we wanted a strong orange for our “action color”. Action color is a fancy way to say, “the color of links and buttons”.
It’s important to use consistent action colors. When all of your links and buttons are the same color, you subconsciously train website visitors to know what to click. This is just one of many ways to maximize user experience and lead conversions.
Knowing we wanted a strong orange, Gulf Oil immediately sprang to mind. Awesome, let’s steal Gulf Oil’s orange. Problem; the orange on their site isn’t in the code. It’s almost always in an image.
No worries. We’ll just take a quick screenshot of the logo.
Screenshot in hand, let’s head over to Get Colors from Image.
- Click “Choose File” and select the screenshot you just took.
- Click “Show Image”.
- Click the color in the image you want to steal.
- Snatch the color code and sneak away slowly.
If you already inspected this post to find our orange hex code, you will see instead of #F5821F we use #FF8000. That’s because while we liked Gulf Oil’s orange, once it was everywhere on our site it was a bit dark for our liking.
So, we plugged it into ColorHexa. After clicking around on various shades of orange, we settled on the slightly brighter and more vibrant #FF8000.
And Gulf Oil was none the wiser, see!
#3 Subscribe to Marketing Email Lists to Steal Tactics
This is my favorite way to steal. It’s no secret the best marketers and brands in the world give their content away for free. What many don’t realize is they give away their tactics for free too… you just have to know how to look for them.
Head over to our Marketing 101 page for an extensive list of marketing geniuses you can steal ideas from. When you subscribe to each email list, watch how they execute. If they take you to a confirmation page, take a screenshot and study the language. How do they ensure you follow-through and confirm your email subscription?
Over time, observe how they communicate with subscribers. How frequently do they send updates? Do they use humor or take a more buttoned-up approach? What communication styles do you see that resonate most with you, and what will resonate most with your target market?
When you find execution and communication patterns you like, start using them. See what “voice” best represents your company culture, values, and personality. Iterate and refine until your sales and marketing messages connect and convert in the marketplace.
Pro-tip: You don’t have to be boring, dry, and overly conservative to succeed in oil and gas. Oilmen are people too!
Oilfield Theft Done Right
This might be Tribe Rocket Inc., but great marketing ain’t rocket science. Genius ideas are everywhere around you. You look at hundreds every day. You just have to change the way you look at things to see them.
Now that you know how oilfield theft is done, have at it!
Call to Action
Let’s have some fun today… forward this to someone you know at Gulf Oil or Statoil. 😉