My parents shopped, learned and nurtured relationships in a very different way than I do today.
They sent & received a lot of mail, they watched network television, read the daily newspaper, visited the library when they needed to research something and they actually “talked” on the phone. Contrast that to today where I rarely visit the post office let alone get any personal mail. The flyers go in the recycling bin before they’re read. I watch Netflix and YouTube when It’s convenient for me; (skipping, ignoring most of the ads) and I haven’t read a paper newspaper for quite a while.
Like millions of other people today, I spend a lot of my time learning, shopping and interacting online. Visiting and using Google, Twitter, Facebook and other online apps and platforms throughout my day. Most of the time it’s done on my mobile phone and it’s all customized to me and my needs.
The mass marketing strategies that worked for my parents’ generation have turned our world into a noisy one where we’re bombarded by somewhere between 5000 and 10,000 messages per day trying to sell us something. The result is that we’re so sick and tired of it that we’ve simply evolved to tune it out.
Great for consumers, bad for business.
This new way in how people shop & learn is forcing a massive shift in how businesses market their products and services. The old playbook doesn’t work and in many instances, it can actually hurt your business more than help it.
The most important change for business owners and marketers to understand is the intimate connection humans now have to technology. People are connected and are empowered in ways like never before possible and this is why marketing will never be the same.
Here are the 5 ways marketing has changed:
1) The Marketers toolbox is new and always changing
Just 10 years ago, the marketer’s toolbox included TV, Radio, Print and direct mail or some variation of these. Businesses would create big campaigns, broadcast them out and hope it would stick with enough people to turn a profit.
Today, there are 1000’s of tools, platforms and technologies and another 1000+ strategies that could be used with them. Each has it’s own set of tactics and best practices and the old rules don’t apply. You can’t just take your TV spot, load it on YouTube and the customers come rolling in. It doesn’t work.
2) When the tools change, so must the strategy
I see this over and over again on Twitter. So many companies use Twitter like it’s a broadcast service. Broadcasting their ads out to their followers and then getting no response and wonder why.
*Hint: It’s social media. Meaning, it’s about social interaction or conversations.
You need to know who your potential customers are, where they hang out online and then interact with them using the right message, the right way at the right time. Context is more important than ever if you want to succeed. Remember, It’s a real live person on the other end of that Facebook like or Tweet and they don’t tolerate interruption and ignorance from businesses.
3) Marketing is social and your whole business should be too
Marketing used to be the job of a department. Now, it’s everyone’s job. From the company CEO to the shipping and receiving person, everyone plays a role in the customer experience. It’s more important than ever to break down departmental silos because your customers don’t care and in fact they’re in charge now. One of the best ways to do this is having a flexible, open and entrepreneurial approach to business.
4) The Marketing Department is now the Media & Education department
Marketing has moved from creating punchy little messages and blasting them through one of the channels like TV or Newspaper. Marketing is now about consistently producing valuable targeted content that moves people over a period of time to make you their provider of choice.
The talents to execute this new marketing strategy include video production, writing, editing of text and video, technical skills like HTML and analytical skills to test, measure and adapt. Marketing has moved away from big bang campaigns to ongoing storytelling designed to help your existing and future customers.
Businesses must now evolve to be self-publishing media companies.
5) People have changed
People have changed in 3 major ways. First, people don’t see themselves as passive consumers. They expect a lot from companies. They expect to get the attention of someone on Twitter or Facebook NOW. And if they don’t, they’ll get the attention of plenty of other competitors about their problems.
Second, people’s attention spans are very short. You can’t just have an awesome product anymore. You have to make their lives more meaningful.
Third, they don’t see themselves as the targets that marketing people have traditionally seen them as. They see themselves as people with unlimited options and when they have made up their mind, they’ll call you. The power has shifted from the business to the consumer and the businesses that don’t get this will suffer. The one thing in marketing that has not changed is the importance of the Unique Selling Proposition.
This one key piece is more important than ever.
To succeed in business today, companies need to be extraordinary. This means being more meaningful to your customers, being better or the best at whatever it is that you promise, and creating the best possible experience from the time they are first introduced to your business.