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What Do Customers Really Want and Why Your Marketing Approach May Not Be Working

  • 15 May, 2014
  • nblair

As a fellow businessperson, merchant or peddler of goods, it’s very possible you have heard the news that changes are taking place in the way marketing works. In the past 20 some years, technology has experienced one gold rush after another. It’s not a secret, unless you have been living under a rock, that the internet has changed a lot of things, including marketing strategies. Interruption marketing i.e. (telemarketing, print advertising, direct mail, bulk emailing, television and radio) seems to be shifting to inbound marketing i.e. (blogs, content marketing, podcasts, video, SEO, social media networking). But how much has marketing really changed?

Consumers Hold More Power These Days

A common battle cry of many business owners is how much time and money they spend on branding and how easy it is to be ignored. Consumers have more power than ever before to tune marketers out.

It is true, consumers can now fast forward through TV commercials, fast forward through online radio commercials, delete online video ads, you can even hide advertisements on Facebook and YouTube. Consumers are bombarded by too many messages, injected in a myriad of places. We are practically numb from the information and advertising blitz. Interestingly enough, technology has created somewhat of a double-edged sword for companies. Businesses rely on social media and other online marketing outlets to target new customers, but getting their attention becomes more and more expensive.

Online and traditional marketing are both great platforms to market your products, which can be seen by thousands or millions of people, but a large percentage might very easily brush you off. Bottom line, is that consumers have a much greater choice when it comes to choosing who they want to buy from and better information to make informed decisions.

If you realize it or not, all businesses are chasing the same thing; how to attract customer’s attention and make them like you? In theory it’s a pretty simple question, but it’s actually one of the most difficult tasks on the planet.

All of your Marketing Eggs in One Basket

Getting back to the first question in this article that we posed. How much has marketing really changed?

Marketing in 2014 is fundamentally the same as it has always been. The difference is that technology has changed the landscape. Businesses that poured money into one particular stream of advertising can’t do that anymore. Time and time again, businesses of all sizes make this same mistake. They put all of their eggs in one basket. Great marketers design campaigns that offer value through every channel.

What these great marketers understand is that campaigns are about solid ideas – not channels. Professional marketing campaigns should align all of your marketing channels around a specific goal and theme. Too many companies have tunnel vision when it comes to choosing their marketing approach. They get caught up in a one form of marketing, consequently ignoring other effective channels. Think of a multi-channel campaign as a band. Each musician on stage has a distinctive role in bringing the music alive. Same is true when developing a multi-channel campaign. Each channel plays a very important role in bringing your ideas and themes together. Your audience consumes information from many different outlets, so diversifying your approach and adapting your message to fit your customer is very important.

Main Ingredient in Marketing

So now we understand that developing a multi-channel diversification strategy, identifying your core customers and how you are going to reach them is a huge part of a successful campaign, but what is the main ingredient in marketing you ask?

This section of the article was saved for last, because it is the most important… A main ingredient in marketing is ATTENTION! Attaining consumer attention is at an all time high, but many businesses either do not understand or have forgotten how to capture it. Since the emergence of email and social media, human to human interaction has changed. Companies have forgotten that they are dealing with people… Behind every Facebook or Twitter post, blog entry or email is a real flesh and blood person. Posting an ad or a comment on a social networking site doesn’t have an ROI. It all comes back to building real human relationships. Don’t get so caught up in maximizing your marketing returns, that you treat your customer’s like they are simple transactions.

One of my favorite quotes is from Gary Vaynerchuk, he says, “our society is experiencing A.D.D at scale, which means TIME and ATTENTION are commodities”.

Most business people understand how important relationships are to their companies success. Many marketers try to measure the quantity of those relationships. They give up scaling their one to one interactions because it is too time consuming. For example, they send out bulk emails instead of personalizing individual emails. They opt to use social media as a means of distribution rather than a conversion tool.

“One to one interaction creates rooted relationships.”

Lastly, don’t take this article the wrong way. Outbound and inbound marketing are strategies that you simply can’t build a brand without these days. Use these as tools or channels to reach YOUR core customer to establish rapport and common ground. Diversify these channels, so you don’t bottleneck yourself into one form of marketing. Remember, people buy on emotion (typically because they like you) and justify it logically. Marketers and sales professionals need to understand the emotions of their customer’s. Your chances of getting the attention of customer’s grows a great deal if you can create a perceived difference or value through personalizing each of the different marketing channels we spoke about in this blog posting.

Jump off the product pitch and jump on the value rocket-ship. You will see results!

Photo courtesy of: mazaletel

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