Marketing used to be like attending a middle school dance with the boys (marketers) on one side of the gym and the girls (consumers) on the other. Today’s market environment has changed. Consumers are more knowledgeable and fearless in their attitudes toward marketers. Today’s consumers want to learn about products on their terms – when, where and how they want the information — not on marketers’ terms. In this environment, “inbound” marketing techniques will yield better results than hard sales pitches.
Let’s keep the dating analogy going for a few marketing tips:
1. If you want to attract someone, peak his interest.
Don’t reveal it all in your first interaction! Better to have customers come to your website to learn more, where you provide them with details and close the sale. GoDaddy.com is a champion of this marketing ploy with their Super Bowl ads.
2. Create a personal connection.
People like people (and companies) they can relate to. Be human, not corporate. Phrase marketing campaigns in your customers’ language.
3. Set yourself apart from the competition.
What makes you different from all the others? Concentrate on your USP (unique selling proposition) to distinguish your company, products and services.
4. Create a favorable image.
Market an image and promise of a better/faster/easier life. Old Spice, the quintessential men’s company, created a series of run-away YouTube hits in 2010 that doubled sales of their body wash products. By focusing on the adventures and attitudes of an attractive spokesman and not the product, Old Spice created a series of viral videos – one with almost 24 million views!
5. Know the answer to “WIIFM?”
What’s in it for me? This is the question every dating couple and successful marketing campaign must answer. Share benefits – not features.
Just as tips for successful dating change over time, so do the techniques for successful marketing. The basics stay the same. Middle schools still hold dances but the environment has changed. Instead of lining the walls of the gym after school, today’s middle school students actively participate in themed dances and “Casino Nights” with door prizes. Today’s marketers need to use tactics and messages to engage customers on their terms.
Karen Emanuelson is the owner of Reciprocate LLC, a marketing consulting firm specializing in internet and social media marketing plans and training for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Check out the Reciprocate blog and join her on Facebook for the latest news and tips on internet and social media marketing for small business. Reciprocate | Share What You Know.
For a free inbound marketing assessment click here.