In one of previous post ‘Brands as Publishers’, I left you with an image of how the media landscape is shifting and creating a new paradigm of Brand communication. With this in mind, we want to shine some light on the path forward to show where we need to go and what the first steps look like; all based on our in-depth research and trends analysis.
The consumer today are not interested in your advertisement, they want a conversation that they control. At the core of this transformation is the growing digital first consumption preference of the consumer. Customers are increasingly demanding to interact with brands anytime and anywhere. For instance, 72% of customers in a survey said they would replace some traditional channels with mobile apps if the capability were available. Similarly another survey found that organisations that were in the top third in terms of digital customer experience had 8.5% higher net margins and 7.8% higher revenue growth than their industry competitors.
Let’s face it, we live in an era where social is how consumers hear about brands, search is how they find them and content is how they remember and connect with them. Campaigns today are launched online first before they appear on traditional media as it looks to better engage with the audience. I think we are a tipping point where we in marketing and advertising need to shift the debate from digital vs traditional to marketing in the digital world.
So where and how does the marketer ‘connect’ with his consumer?
In this perpetually connected society, the main role of marketing is to to constantly engage in consumer conversation wherever that is happening in real time. Similarly the role of ‘Brand Manager’ is changing to that of a ‘Social Officer’ facilitating monuments of authentic conversation with consumers.
In this new paradigm of consumer centrality, here are some ways of tipping the marketing influence towards your brand:
Develop digital assets:
Traditional advertising and paid digital campaigns are temporary. It’s like renting attention; when you stop paying ‘rent’, you stop getting the attention. Re-think your strategy and slowly shift your budget from paid media. Invest in branded media assets like website, microsites, blog, YouTube channel, social pages, forums and mobile apps to pull people in. Focus on providing value instead of pushing your way in.
Create kick-ass content:
Have you heard of “Content is the King”? Well, that’s where your opportunity lies. People take to the Internet for information on every small, silly or weird thing that one can think of (or not). Grab their eyeballs with the content they are looking for, answer their questions and provide more value online. Believe us, they will come back to you looking for more.
Work around SEO:
Did you know there are 5.9 BILLION daily searches on Google? May be a few of those would be interested in your product. Search engines are raining free traffic, employ SEO wisely in your content to catch some of it.
Be social on social media, being ‘Me’ does not help. One way communication from the seller to the buyer doesn’t work anymore. If at all, it will only distance your consumers from your brand. So don’t broadcast. Hold conversations and connect to your consumers.
Build digital workforce:
As data, analytics, cloud, social and mobile technologies see a greater role in marketing, the technology skills organic to systems integrators will become more and more critical. Identify the social media passion players in your organisation and put them to work. Hire people for their digital competencies.
In conclusion, traditional advertising still works for brand awareness, but it’s a passive medium. The art of modern marketing is the deft ability to achieve business goals while not totally pissing off your audience. If people like your brand, they will independently discover your products and services, become an active follower, and hopefully a loyal customer.
Here is our thoughts on how marketing will evolve in 2015 and beyond.