apologies to Scott Brinker, www.chiefmartec.com

apologies to Scott Brinker, www.chiefmartec.com

Faced with so much choice of technology and platform options to reach and engage consumers, many marketers are paralysed. On the other hand, many are tempted to be all things to all people, simply because the tools are there to reach them, and they hope that they strike a hot prospect somewhere.

“It’s a numbers game” dominates many conversations, and it seems limiting your options  is silly.

However, the customer has extraordinarily well developed bullshit meters to filter out the digital noise, so unless you are very specific with the offer, it will not pass the filter, it will not be seen.

It seems to me there is way too little being done to consider the people we are trying to reach. It is ironic that the tools have given us access to their lives,  but often we choose to ignore the individual and chase the usually poorly defined “triibe”. A great description coined by Seth Godin, now misused by many.

We need to stop obsessing about the tools and ask ourselves three basic questions:

What is it we are trying to do?,

Why should anyone care?

How do we use these tools now available to make a difference?.

It seems to me there are four strategies

  1. Establish your “Why“. Simon Sinek in his seminal TED talk compellingly makes the argument that this is the core of marketing, to quote, “people do not get what you do, they get why you do it”.
  2. Build relationships. This sounds a bit yukkie, but when done with a genuine desire  to help, and add value to others, it delivers to both parties. The twin brothers of C21 marketing, “Social media marketing” and “content marketing”  have between them led us astray. Everyone is working feverishly at the tools trying to be different, the face in the crowd that stands out, but mostly failing, there are just too many faces, and too few asking the follow up question of “what am I going to do with them when I have their attention”. For the faces, they are attracted from time to time and let down somehow, and have become even more reluctant to give anything easily.
  3. Bridge the gap between what you say, and the customer experience. Too many marketers are there for the money, not for  the joy of delivering on the “why”, and do not really care about the challenge of getting their customers to say “that was amazing?” Marketing is emerging as the difference between success and failure in this commoditised and transparent world, so you better get some of the rare good stuff.
  4. Choose your tools based on the behavior of the individual consumer. There are so many tools, and combinations of tools available, that making the choices becomes a task of considerable proportion. Choosing the right combination can be the difference, so make sure you choose on the basis of the best way to match your messages to the behavior of  the consumer, not by what is available. No good having a hammer when you need a screwdriver. When you are building a deck at the back of  the house, the choice is obvious, but when building a bridge to the consumer, the discriminating factor is their behavior in any given set of circumstances, and this is really hard to predict, you really need to understand them in great detail. There is too much technology, it has become the end, rather than the means.

When you are stuck, give me a call.