As marketers we have been taught that our value lies in creating customized brand experiences for the masses. Which, is not that difficult with all of the technology available to us. We can tell which prospects opened our emails, what they clicked on, if they purchased and what other products they have looked at. We can then create ads to “follow” them around their favorite websites promoting the products they did not purchase in hopes they will reconsider and we can complete a conversion. Crazy, right?
Crazy is just how I think the digital marketing process is making the consumer feel. It’s my belief that advertising overload is already upon us. How many times have you had to leave a website because ads were either blocking the content, or just relentless? How frustrating is it to try to read an article with pop ups, videos and “shop now” call to actions at the bottom of every paragraph you read?
Facebook recently made major news with its “refocus” on its core features- friends and family vs. ads and videos. No doubt this will cost the company money in the long run, but make for a much better user experience and result in higher engagement levels. I applaud this move. I believe the main value of the internet lies in information and entertainment. I am tired of being persuaded- I want to find the information I seek on my own terms and have it be re- or dis- affirmed by reviews or referrals. I want to be in control—not spammed by countless vendors with offer after offer.
It is my belief that marketing needs a new pathway. While automation, lead nurturing, digital advertising and remarketing are certainly valuable tools, I believe the brands that will actually break through to customers are those that can engage in successful relationship marketing. Just as consumers began to tune out billboards and television commercials, so are they starting to do with emails and ads.
Don’t get me wrong—these tools are valuable in their own right and can help bolster a business’s awareness astronomically—but in order to truly get through to a customer and find success we need to go back to the basics of actually knowing and having a true relationship with our clients. In a world where everything is now digital I actually believe the brands that will last the longest are those that can get in front of their customers. Not the ones with the highest ad budgets or the fanciest marketing software.
It speaks volumes to step apart from the status quo and actually call, message or email a customer directly to get their input. Ask them to be a part of a focus group, tell them you are their account representative and will be updating them on news or items pertinent to them in their lives. Become a marketer that truly adds value to your audience- the results will speak for themselves.
For more information on your digital advertising strategy, contact Sunny today.