There’s no question that successful branding has changed dramatically within the past 5 years. Why? The rapid advancement of technology and the rise of the digital age have shifted the power from the marketer to the consumer. Consumers have the ability to opt-out of receiving marketing messages, and they have the option to consume only the content they enjoy and want to receive. Because consumers have changed, the old method of marketing no longer works…there is no more “making the sale”.
So, let’s talk about what successful marketers know and do in today’s world. Today, successful marketing is accomplished by creating meaningful consumer experiences that attract, build and retain brand loyalty. Conversion is not as much about hammering more frequent messages, but rather the quality of the engagement with consumers. Building relationships with consumers is similar to building a long term friendship in your personal life. Trust, loyalty, authenticity, and consistency are all important qualities in building relationships with consumers – these are all similar qualities we look for in friendships, too!
Consumers are hit with over 3,000 marketing messages a day, so it’s no surprise that consumers are looking for something a bit more when making buying decisions. Consumers want to buy from companies and people whom they like, and whom they believe can fulfill their needs. They want to connect with a brand. Establishing relationships of trust with consumers is critical and is accomplished by creating marketing that has intrinsic value to the consumer.
A great way to create meaningful experiences for consumers is to add something of value to the quality of people’s lives through listening to their needs, knowledge sharing, entertainment, or problem solving. In other words, provide engaging experiences, richer connections, and a way to help them make a positive impact on the world at large. A key point to this strategy is that it does not involve trying to sell something. Consumers will see through this right away and move on, likely never to return.
Most consumers’ basic needs are already satisfied with products and services they currently buy. Converting these consumers requires you to not only create meaningful experiences for these consumers, but also to transcend the competition’s, and “go the extra mile”. One key way to do this is through unique differentiation. What you don’t want to do is sound like all the rest of your competitors. Consumers want to know why they should buy from you and not your competitors. Competing on price is tough, and not very successful in today’s world, so a better strategy is to uncover your core competencies and the ‘why’ behind why you do what you do and how that is a direct benefit to the buyer. You may offer similar products and services as your competition, but the reason behind your business may change the ‘how’ you deliver and this will likely be the main benefit your customer remembers about your company.
The methods and mediums marketers use today have changed drastically in a relatively short time, and as such the rules of marketing have changed. Brand recognition, trust and loyalty are more important for companies today than it has been in a long while. Many marketers are being left behind, which creates an opportunity for you and your company to stand out!