In this world of constant connectivity, it is surprising how disconnected we marketers are when it comes to our relationships with our internal and external clients.
What do I mean by that? Let’s take social media for instance. If done right, social media allows marketers to have meaningful, one on one relationships with current and potential customers. So what do we do? We “meform” rather than inform in the social world. By doing this we let the social world know that we are only in it for us, not to help make things better for our customers/the world. So what happens? We get tuned out. STRIKE ONE.
While we are trying to be social, we are also marketing our product/ service/brand through direct mail. Yes, it can still be done effectively. Communicating to our targets and customers is important. The issue with direct mail is we tend to focus the message too much on ourselves and not enough on our how our product/service/brand will benefit our customer/prospect (ie., we focus too much on the features and not enough on the benefits). STRIKE TWO.
Being the integrated marketers that we are, we also turn to digital marketing to communicate our product/service/brand. We have the best intentions with this media, but what happens? Often we don’t have an effective message line and/or we have too much copy and/or copy that is too complicated—this gets us deleted faster than an invitation to watch home movies of a recent trip to the earwax museum. STRIKE THREE.
So how should we be marketing in the social, mail and digital spaces? The old-fashioned way of course!
1) Understand their needs. Don’t be a focus group of one and assume you know what your customers/prospects need and/or want. Ask them.
2) Develop your brand voice. In the social and digital world it is critically important that current and prospective consumers, particularly Gen Y, “know” who you are. To accomplish this, you need to establish a voice for your brand that you consistently use. This can be a challenge for large companies that have more than one “face” in the social and digital space; but it can be done.
3) Be genuine. Those who come across as a “used car salesman” will likely be ignore; particularly in the social space. Make every experience with your brand a real one.
4) Give them an experience not just and interaction. This is particularly important when marketing in the digital area. To accomplish this, you need to beef up the interactive nature of your website and your mobile marketing. Sometimes it is simply a matter of building a great game or having an opportunity to learn (particularly about the industry/topic/product/service you deal in) in an easy and fun way on your website or related landing page.
5) Don’t disappear. We are quick to discard a marketing method that doesn’t give us an immediate return. This is particularly true of social media. You can’t come in and out of the social and digital spaces and expect customers and prospects to care about you. It usually doesn’t work that way. We, as consumers, are way too focused on what’s hot today to keep our attention span.
So remember, marketing isn’t hard, you just need to consistently be there in one voice and be genuine.