We all know that marketing can help us become successful.
Marketing refers to the tools we utilize to deliver the message of our brand.
Branding is the strategy, while marketing encompasses your tactical goals.
Marketing offers great opportunities.
It can be serious, heartfelt or funny.
It can be a mix of text, keywords, photos, infographics, charts, and videos.
Marketing can be performed by a variety of online and offline methods, as there are (some of the most common):
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay per Click Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Television / Radio
- Print Campaigns
We cannot do our marketing in the same way as several years ago.
Times have changed – tremendously.
Let’s have a look at what has changed:
1. Direct Marketing
Several years ago traditional marketing strategies like cold calls, cold emails, snail mail and trade shows could convince people.
This does not work anymore.
Today you cannot convince with such direct marketing tactics, especially in times of the new data protection law, called GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), that was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens‘ data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. Data protection is a critical topic nowadays. People must have a good feeling for their data. Companies, just in Europe, must now execute their marketing with care and a sense of duty, as in the case of data problems high penalties can result.
Besides, direct and unsought emails are often perceived as spam.
People feel annoyed through that.
You certainly don’t want to come over as a spammer or receive a penalty ….
Traditional advertising is dead.
People no longer sit in front of the TV when an ad comes on.
Advertisements on TV aren’t convincing.
People trust other sources.
They trust the recommendations of Facebook friends.
Today people don’t sift through newspapers and magazines anymore to look at advertisements or evaluate products; people look online now.
We are all drowning in information overload.
There is too much information online.
Too much content.
More and more people produce content and fight for the attention of their target group.
You certainly have heard the term “content shock”.
Where does this term come from?
The term “content shock” first appeared in 2014 in the US.
It describes the evolution, that more and more, often high-quality, content is produced by more and more different senders.
Especially online classical media (national and regional media, trade media, etc.) compete with their content with pure online media (Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, etc.) and new, more and more professional content editors, like societies, associations and NGOs, but also companies and brands, and finally influencers and famous people (artists, models, etc.), for gaining the attention of the target groups.
The consequence of this “content shock” is …
- “Ad blindness” is a state where most people don’t see the ads presented to them online anymore.
- The target groups attach themselves to protection and filtering mechanisms – consciously and unconsciously (Adblocker, Facebook abstinence, fake profiles, less interaction, etc.)
- People’s attention span is shorter (people are doing ten things simultaneously and don’t have the time to listen well)
- Reach decreases for the editors and it needs more resources (time and money) to really reach the target groups and gain attention / The purchasing power is in the customer’s hands more than ever before (there is limitless data online, too many customer reviews and countless vendors to purchase from)
Conventional advertisement is no longer viable. You have to be creative now.
3. Customer Service
Before people relied on good onsite customer service, now customer service includes a consistent social media presence.
People contact the company now directly via Twitter and Facebook when they have a question or a problem.
And they expect an immediate response.
If no one’s listening, the company is in trouble.
We should address problems now as fast as we can.
Building trust on social media is very critical now.
Most companies have a poor customer service.
Many customers leave due to problems in customer service.
A great customer service can push your company to great success.
The advantages of a great customer service:
- Great customer service fosters word-of-mouth.
- Satisfied customers recommend your company willingly further.
- And … word-of-mouth can bring new customers in.
- Word-of-mouth adds new customers with no additional marketing expenditure.
Therefore:You should set on a great customer experience.
– Eliminate the most prevalent customer problems and create reasonable customer expectations.
– Ask what customers expect.
– Ask for feedback.
– Deal with customer complaints.
– Offer valuable solutions.
– Assure that problems get fixed.
– Be transparent when problems come up.
– Don’t hide problems.
– Facilitate word-of-mouth.
– Provide channels for recommendations.
The launch of new technologies has enabled new possibilities:
We can market our products via our smartphones now.
We sell our products and services via videos that we produce on our smartphones.
Problem is only that we focus too much on technology.
We are, so to say, “married“ with our smartphones and are too long online.
The intimate connection to technology should make us question the status quo.
5. Marketing is now about the 4 Es:
Marketing is no longer about the 4 Ps:
The 4 Ps of Marketing were invented in 1960 by Jerome McCarthy.
And they were made leading-edge by Philip Kotler in his book “Principles of Marketing“ in 1967.
Brian Fetherstonhaugh from Ogilvy & Mather introduced the new framework of the 4 Es several years ago.
He advises to “forget“ the 4 P’s and embrace the 4 Es:
- From product to experience: We should discover and map out the full customer journey on our own brand – in our own country.
- From place to experience: We should develop a knowledge of new media and channels the way a chef masters new ingredients.
We should try new things.
- From price to exchange: We should appreciate the value of things, not the cost. We should start by calculating the value of our customers, and what their attention, engagement, and permission are worth to us.
- From promotion to evangelism: We should find the passion and emotion in our brand. We should inspire our customers and employees with our passion.
If you want to read Brian Fetherstonhaugh’s article, you can download it here.
Now you will ask:
When times have changed tremendously, how can I be successful in marketing?
Is success without marketing eventually possible?
Is this a solution?
The answer is:
You really can be successful in marketing nowadays.
And success without marketing is NOT the way to go!
The solution is:
Adapt or die!
Businesses must embrace change!
You should embrace change and find creative ways to succeed.
You could leverage your expertise and tap into new marketing tactics.
It’s important to try new things and adopt new technologies.
Think about Google and Facebook … they have been investing heavily in upcoming technologies like virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Leverage your knowledge of the industry to create something new and improved for your target audience.
Here some tips for marketing success today:
1. Set on valid key figures
Define new, valid goals with regard to reach.
In B to B, for example, 500 or 50 valid, direct contacts are more worth than 5 million faked reach.
2. Redefine your target group
Invest more time and money and reason into exactly defining and understanding your target group.
Who is really relevant to you?
Don’t appeal to all potential customers, but define and reach the most potential, the most relevant (new) customers.
Try to find out what people really want, their needs and their media usage.
Steadily check the definition of the target group and adapt.
3. Be wise and better
Look for intelligent solutions and test new things.
Steadily question and improve something.
4. Get to know the gatekeepers of your target group
Get to know the different gatekeepers and recognize how your content must be prepared for those gatekeepers.
Gatekeepers are mainly journalists, influencers, famous people, algorithms of social media platforms and search engines.
Understand, how your target groups try to escape the content flood, how they select and what is important for them, how they channel their attention and which tools they use.
5. Set on Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing is now a valid and successful marketing strategy used worldwide.
What is Influencer Marketing?
By associating with influencers you can build your brand’s credibility and reputation.
Influencers create brand awareness.
They make your brand popular.
Influencers can also strengthen your social media presence.
They can create content for you, that works like user-generated content.
This content you can share everywhere and establish trust.
Influencer Marketing pays – it can help boost conversions and increase your sales.
Influencers know how to engage and reach people, therefore influencers generate sales effectively.
On these platforms you can set filters, can connect with influencers, can start campaigns, and can track your success.
Influencer Marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. It has great potential.
6. Stand out from the crowd!
One thing has not changed:
We must have a good unique selling proposition! This is now more important than ever.
Seth Godin’s books (he has written over 30!!) all say the same thing: “Be extraordinary!“
This marketing principle has stood the test of time and technology.
That has something to do with branding:
- You must be unique and different!
- You must have a clear and unmistakable position!
To get yourself seen amongst the crowd, be unique, interesting, genuine and captivating.
How can you be different?
How can you differentiate yourself?
7. Offer something of value
Your focus should not be on your product, it should be on your customer.
Make sure to market and sell based on the specific needs of your customer, not just your needs as a company.
Don’t focus on the sales process, focus on establishing a line of trustworthy communication with your customer.
You must offer your target group relevant and decisive value.
What value are you able to offer?
Why not offering your customer a free item, a piece of information, and they will be more likely to do business with you.
Building trust is very critical in business, nowadays.
1. Marketing will always be relevant to our success.
2. In times of change, new technology and progress businesses must adapt or die!
We should not have fear in times of change, new technology and progress.
Businesses that don’t adapt have no chance anymore!
3. Marketing is always a good investment.
No question, without having the necessary knowledge, marketing can easily be done wrong, and it can become a money sink into which a lot of cash can flow but the returns are only mediocre.
Well-researched marketing gives great returns on investment.
And, what we should always remember:
4. Marketing is necessary to make good branding work.
Branding is the strategy, but with good tactics, you can increase your success.
5. Trust is the key to success!
There is a saying:
People buy from people they know, like and trust.
How do you market your products and services?
Did you change something?
How do your future marketing plans look like?