Woe to those teaching yesterday’s methods
We all know that the world of marketing has turned upside down these past years through the power of the Internet. College professors teaching marketing must be having a real challenge keeping up with the new channels of communication, the relative values of advertising buys in this new world and explaining how to make the most out of these cheaper and more powerful channels.
The new power model of marketing
Although there is still a place for display advertising in this new world, increasingly small businesses are discovering that creating buzz and engaging their audiences through social media are more powerful and cost effective.
The old “seven impression” model
Marketing texts and college professors say that it takes at least seven impressions – exposures – before a person recognizes and acts upon the message. That’s an expensive proposition for small companies. On the other hand, your target audience is already talking to their friends and associates about products and services they like and use. Plugging into those conversations gives you the power to multiply your message many times over, often at no cost at all.
Using influencers to tap their massive group of followers
[Email readers, continue here…] How do you engage your customers in a conversation instead of merely broadcasting your message again and again in hope that some one remembers it? The answer comes in several forms, but centers around your finding the thought leaders within circles of influence, attracting the “influencers” that people follow. Now companies engage and pay influencers to get your attention and want their products. To do this, your message must resonate in a way that it appears unique.
The way to do this for most of us
If you cannot incorporate social content into your product, surround your product with social content. Create groups in Facebook, followers on Twitter, a comments section on your blog or website, and more. Identify a number of influencers, and then offer to let them use your product or service at low or no cost if they will join your informal advisory group on the ‘net. Ask for endorsements when appropriate. Just be aware that most influencers today make their living by charging for their “blasts” about your product to their usually gargantuan base.
The golden rule of today’s marketing
Above all, make every outreach an attempt to engage your customers, listening to their responses and responding one-to-one wherever possible. Make each customer feel important and valued. In this new world of engagement marketing, the customer has a voice much earlier and much louder than ever before.