We live one click away from almost everything. We can choose what to read, watch, listen, share and buy with a simple click. In the Digital Era (almost) everything is available on the World Wide Web and trough the internet. Nowadays, information circulates fast, mobility is a need and portability an available key resource. Customers’ needs, interests and behaviors have also changed, being crucial understand what are the key changes. One of the most important changes is connected to the way people sort out information and make their choices. New mechanisms erupted with this technological wave empowering people to easily give permission or not to be informed, and accordingly take action and interact. “Word-of-mouth” is faster and more alive than ever. Messages with referrals, complains, praises and all sorts of information travel these days at light-speed. They are only a click away.
Do you believe marketers can still using the same tools and channels that they have been using for decades now?
I do not! Pushing content is not working, people do not like to be interrupted anymore, they want to be informed on what they gave permission for. Publicity on TV, radio, newspapers or magazines is not efficient anymore. Invasive direct e-mail campaigns are considered spam and deleted from email inboxes. The way Marketing is changing and adapting although in some cases it could be faster.
In my opinion the first step to change an outdated and inadequate approach is a complete diagnosis on who are the company’s actual and targeted customers. Why? Because as already mentioned the business landscape is changing, leading people also to change adhering and being part of social networks. Within these social networks so called Communities are being created to gather people with similar interests. Marketers should pay attention to these social networks and particularly to their communities. Although traditional segmentation still efficient, they should also start using the community concept to target customers. These new communities use social networks and social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to interact, communicate, collaborate, share and participate. They sometimes have not only an online but also an offline presence leading to stronger relationships.
Don’t you think that this phenomenon should be taking into account when defining a new Marketing Plan? Well, I do.
So, being pragmatic, what are the available solutions to cope with this new reality?
In my opinion, all the channels, tools and technologies related to internet, working with digital and social-media oriented can help. However, I strongly believe in a mixed and tailor made solution. If I had to mention three key aspects according to what a Marketing Plan should be designed, I would have chosen: audience (communities and segments) to be targeted, Business Strategy and Industry. Nevertheless, what should be forbidden, if I may speak in forbidden things, is a Marketing Plan 100% based on Outbound or Traditional Marketing.
We live one click away! Please, as a marketer, business manager or entrepreneur adapt to this new reality before you are out of business!