Our tunnel vision towards how technology can ease efforts in marketing has led to the neglection to what marketing used to be.
If you dabble in tasks related to marketing in today’s world, what’s the first impression of marketing to you?
- Social Media Ads? Value opt-ins?
- Online Campaigns?
- Email chains?
- SEO keywords ranking?
- Voice search?
Take a closer look at the most common thing mentioned in today’s marketing scene. I’d say pretty much everything has a link with technology and how it has enabled us to conduct our marketing effort with ease.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against any of these things. In fact, I conduct most of these tasks on a daily basis too. I truly adore how technology has helped us, marketers, to work better. Well, in my case, I can work remotely and on-the-go all the time!
So what do I mean when I say, “Marketing is not how it used to be?”
If you look at the 80% of the ads that pops-up on your social media newsfeed and your Google search page, you would see that these ads are ‘lifeless’. These ads are mostly using the old school magic bullet theory to target their audience.
This is a screenshot of a Malaysia-based ad that was found on my social media newsfeed. There’s nothing wrong this particular ad; just that the content is plain, it showed the price and offered immediate free postage as a call-to-action prompt.
While certain products can benefit from doing this, this type of content doesn’t last. The reason is simple. The content is lifeless. There’s no interaction, no connection between the product and the users.
Let’s look at another ad that I’ve found on my newsfeed.
This is an ad done by the New York Times. If you compare this ad with the previous ones, you can see that the ad for NYT provides content that is non-invasive. It invites you to find out more by clicking into the article. And you can also see the number of shares and likes is way higher compared to the previous ad.
It’s all about getting engaged with the audience.
This is the core essence of marketing in my personal point of view. Marketing is the art of delivering your brand/product out to the public and at the same time establishing a relationship and building trust with your potential clients. Many of the content created for marketing nowadays lack this element. It’s all about getting the right aesthetics, the right ‘feel’ and ‘vibe’ in order to attract attention from the audience.
Yes, it is important to do that. But what’s next?
One of the reasons why many potential brands flopped in the early stage of their marketing life is due to the lack of relationship building with their audience. I have clients coming and tell me that they want to build their brand name on a large scale, but refuse to build a connection with the audience.
They were constantly talking about automated replies, automated email funnels and constantly thinking about what other things that they can automate so that they can let business run by itself.
The worst thing you can do to your brand is to automate every single interaction with the clients.
At the end of the day, most of them will realise that it was a wrong move especially during the early stages of building a brand.
Marketing hasn’t really changed much since the good old days
If you look closer, the only thing that has changed is the platform itself. Today, most of the marketing campaigns are done digitally on the internet. However, the importance of generating a good relationship with the audience is still the same, and I would say it’s even more important than ever.
With the perks of being able to access rich information within the palm of their hands, audiences are getting smarter in consuming content.
For instance, if I were to buy a camera via the internet, I wouldn’t just browse on one seller. Instead, I would browse through the top 10 sellers and review all the feedbacks given by previous customers. At the same time, I would also check on their websites to see how professional they are with their content (to make sure that they are legit sellers). Once all verified, I would then proceed to buy the product from the chosen seller.
Then, what if the brand doesn’t have high interaction on their platforms? Easy. Certainly, it won’t be my first choice.
With the ease of setting up a business, more and more brands, products or services are appearing on the web. And if you’re one of them, you need to really step up to show that you’re different and stand out.
The best way you can do that is to go back to the core of marketing – create a strong relationship with your audience and make them feel that your brand is pretty much relevant to their life.
So how can you do that?
The easy way is to create meaningful content!
When you’re creating content, always put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
Think, if you’re one of them, what kind of content you would most likely interact with. No one likes the feeling of being pushed to get the product. You need to first create the content that brings value in order to build that trust.
Remember that value comes first, monetisation will come later.
If you’re able to establish an awesome level of trust, you’ll get good support and interaction when you launch your marketing campaigns. This will help you to generate credibility needed that will lead to better conversions.
Too often, we want to attract people from the pricing point of view. We prefer to highlight the great discounts and offers. It used to be effective but it’s no longer works that well. When it comes to the war of pricing, there will always casualty from both ends of the competition.
Both brands will offer the best price they could give to get more conversions but ended up not being able to sustain the business because it will eventually affect the profit margin.
So, don’t compete in the pricing war, it doesn’t end well most of the time.
Instead, if you create value and build trust, your customer will continue to support you even though your service or product might not be the cheapest in town. They would still do it because they trust your brand based on the value, quality and credibility that you’ve shown them.
Marketing is really all about building a relationship with the audience
When you’re able to do this alongside the help of any modern marketing tool or technology, you can bring your brand to a greater place. So, don’t get fixated and put yourself in the tunnel vision of ‘modern marketing’. Marketing hasn’t changed much, really.
It is still relational and it will grow when you establish good trust with your audience.