The (successful) marketing landscape is changing because the consumer and their behavior are changing. No longer does a person see a commercial on television, in print, or hear one on the radio and act. Intrusion marketing has seen its day.
Now the STDs that I am talking about are likely not the ones that first came to your mind. I am talking about Social, Timing, and Data. Let me put it to you this way. Remember the commercial for Trident gum that stated “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident for their patients that chew gum?” What if a brand could plant in your mind, “4 out of 5 of my friends prefer ?” Which is more compelling? Which is more worthy of having influence on your purchase decision?
Point number 2 … what if you were shopping in a store and you received a promotion that was based on your shopping history. The example I love to give is as follows … Say you were shopping at the Gap. You get a text message (or promo delivered by an app) that offers you 20% off of underwear. Now that offer will either make you happy or weird you out – simply based on purchase history. Do you buy underwear at the Gap? Totally relevant store promotion if you have purchased underwear there, and on the flipside, the promotion might give you the shivers if you never thought of the Gap as a place to purchase underwear.
So the new marketing landscape is a combination of getting referrals and word of mouth marketing from your trusted network, and getting timely, relevant information based on accurate and well interpreted data. STDs – social, timely, and data. Let’s work STDs in reverse order.
First data … companies need to collect important data such as customer preferences and purchase history. Most people have strong and understandable privacy concerns. But it is up to each company to prove to their target audience that they are going to use customer data in a fashion that is protective and beneficial to their customers. There is a point where brands can build the reputation of “you provide the right feedback and information to us and we will make it worth your while.” Collect data in a non-corporate way and explain your brand’s use. Don’t put this use information in “Terms and Conditions” that no one bothers to read. As you collect information (including purchases) give immediate feedback on how the data will and will not be used and reinforce that customer data is protected and not shared.
Once you start to collect appropriate, relevant information, you are now in the position to provide individualized, timely information and promotions. This helps to make your consumer feel like they are the brand focused customer. Not some speck in a mass of marketing advertisement. This will help to further the relationship between your brand and your audience. I cannot emphasize enough how important this aspect is to the new marketing landscape. Timeliness and relevance spawn brand action and brand action should be the marketing objective.
We’ve addressed “data” and “timely” … now on to “social.” As you provide timely relevant information, keep the conversation going. Stay social. It will build a deeper relationship with your audience. Identify your power users, participants, and communicators. Build one-to-one conversations and relationships with them. This is the start to acquiring advocates and strengthening your word of mouth marketing.
When you put social, timely, and data (STDs) all together, you will find that 4 out of 5 friends recommend your brand not only to those that ask, but unprompted in forums, platforms and networks. And that is the power of STDs in the new marketing landscape. Don’t be afraid of STDs. Embrace them.
Make It Happen!