In today’s multi-media world firms face an even greater challenge to get their product messages noticed, heard and acted on. We are all deluged with emails, tweets, blogs and advertisements that seemingly can solve every problem known to humanity! In the midst of this digital information tsunami, how does the small firm get its message heard?
Time was when marketing departments spent budgets simply on one-sidedly promoting a brand image or company attribute. I say one-sidedly because there was no attempt to engage the potential buying audience in a conversation. The advertiser shouted the message and potential buyers tuned in or out depending on their immediate interest and need for the product being promoted.
Such tactics no longer work with today’s digital message savvy buyers. We want engagement. We want a conversation. We want to feel our opinion has been heard and influenced the offering. The web is changing all the rules of communication. Everyone now can readily communicate an opinion about your product or service. And these opinions influence whether people will buy from you.
Time was when information travelled no faster than the speed of a horse. Then the invention of the telegraph made “fast” communication between population centres a matter of minutes and seconds rather than weeks and days.
Technological change is driving faster and broader communication. I started my career using telex to “talk” with customers around the world. By the mid 80’s fax machines were taking over and every executive knew the feeling of self-importance on being greeted at that night’s hotel with a scroll fast fading thermal paper!
Mobile phones and email soon became mainstream but these before the smartphone were essentially one-to-one or one-to-few communication mediums.
All rules of engagement changed with the with the web. Now anyone can broadcast their message. We are no longer passive recipients of carefully crafted campaigns; we participate in them and frequently determine the viability of the offering.
Buyers now have ready access to all the information they require and in this connected world can rapidly check and compare multiple competitive offerings on comparative advice sites. “Word of mouth” referral and recommendation is now online.
So how does the firm engage with its customer’s today? In simple terms this is about time and value. If you can provide something of value to your potential buyers, they will give of their time to participate with you.
Here value is created beyond the tangible attributes of your product or service. If your marketing provides something engaging, then you have your potential customer’s attention.
The key is to indentify the attributes of your product or service which have the potential to engage your target audience. This is not about traditional “benefits” orientated marketing. This is about problem resonance; understanding the reasons why your customer may be looking for your product or service offering right now.
When you think in terms of the problems your target customers are likely to face, it is more likely that your marketing communication will resonate with them and that they will give of their time to engage with you.
Sticky Marketing and Stickier Marketing by Grant Leboff
Grant Leboff tells of the changes firms face in marketing today. Shouting messages at people is finished. Buyers have been empowered by digital technology. Businesses need to get their marketing materials found online and noticed: brands need to become sticky.