Understanding the New Marketing Landscape via STDs

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!
Social Steve



Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, BrandAction, content marketing, marketing, marketing plan, Social BrandAction, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

11 responses to “Understanding the New Marketing Landscape via STDs

  1. Perfect, I spent a few years answering questions on the street form market researchers. To get free chocolate or vouchers telling them what they wanted to hear. Even on times doing all negative answers after all they always gave the prize at the end.

    Actually locating, listening and engaging with the relevant people as you say will get actual results. Simple really, wonder why people avoided it for so long?

  2. Thanks Mark – I assume they avoid it because they think they know better.

  3. Jim Matorin


    You are ahead of the curve on this post. Some people call it contextual advertising (Gap example), but I like the STD concept. I would like to add two thoughts. A.) STD will really get powerful as loyalty programs like Shopkick, Checkpoints, etc. grow. B.) I think marketers need to understand that the friends influence factor is going to vary greatly by product/service category, it is not going to work across the board. Example: I am in the food business. I think people do not know their food, thus I am not going to be influenced by otherss. What about personal style purchases like fashion, furniture, etc. What about impulse purchases? Yes we have our smartphones, but we are still going to buy things on impulse based on clever merchandising.

    • Interesting point Jim, rather than think you are in a business/industry and know how it runs unlike those not in the sector. Why not consider your connected community/network ** has benefit and value to give back to you because they have experienced or know someone who has experienced your product or services. Or in your case they have at some stage in life eaten food and so are invaluable to you as your producing something they can share. We can all learn from each other whether CEO, VP or Homeless and destitute.

      There are definite different values for the varied businesses across the globe, but as Steve knows this is not new. All we are getting back to is how ‘Real’ people communicate and build communities that share information through trust and loyalty. That maybe simply seeing that Sue uses x cleaner in, so this makes Bev tell bob that they should use this cleaner. Only because Sue has a cleaner house than them.

      It could be more complex, but then marketers would have to redefine and name it. people have been talking for over 100,000 years. We need to realise how the available technology is making it more effective for them. people are using it businesses are slowly catching up with them.

      Impulse purchases will always be there and never change anything said above, but so will bulk buying by organised bland, boring people or businesses. All we need to do is locate, listen and engage where relevant.

      **[not target audience, because people sell to targets. Where as a connected community can spread word of mouth without buying your product]

  4. Jim – I think we will see “impulse” buying be followed by immedaite validation via mobile. For example, I want to buy that dress … person immediately goes to a fashion site to see what “style” is in fashion the next season. I want to buy that Android phone … person goes online to check reviews right then and there.

    Mark – thanks for being a great contributor to the blog. Always appreciate your perspective.


  5. Steve,

    Your basic premise is wrong, there is no research to suggest people are not still motivated to act by one way communications – NONE! When a consumer is informed of a product that meets their needs – they will respond, just like they always did and will.

    Adding interactive or social strategies make sense – but as part of an integrated plan. Your views are consistent with a new medium – it becomes all about the shiny new toy and forget about all the old toys that have served you well. Ever seen Toy Story – Woody always comes back! A blend of the old and the new is what smart marketeers, not headline grabbers, are doing!

    • Dan – I agree integration is key and a must. See “Integrating Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media” at http://bit.ly/evJayL . The point I am making is that intrusion marketing is a play for mass and NOT contextually relevant. When a car ads is on TV, how many people are ACTUALLY viewing are in market buyers at that time. Granted you can argue that is brand marketing, not action marketing. BUT what if we actually integrated the both AND developed word of mouth strategies and tactics at the same time. Brand marketing + action marketing + word-of-mouth. This is the opportunity so many are missing.

      Sincere thanks for contributing!


  6. Peregrine

    Steve, your post also calls to attention something very important for marketing strategy and – thus – staffing. This kind of attention to the audience and interaction will require a lot more forward planning and agility than most are used to. Plus the amount of activity required will mean that you’ll need to assign people who will be dedicated to that role. What I mean is that it’s not as simple as some think (and have learned the hard way – Hello, Chrysler vendor). You’ll need someone who understands how to cull the data and understand it. (That may not be the same person, as some statisticians know numbers but not what they mean.) You’ll also need someone who really understands communication, because – as you point out – we aren’t talking the fine print in the Terms and Conditions. We’re talking regular engagement with people. It’s not only important to know how to write, but what to write knowing or be sensitive to the person or persons being addressed. Finally, somebody needs to be on top of frequency, timing, etc. All this will require someone who can think on his feet and really lead.

    The bottom line is that we’re already in the new world. The gadgets we dreamed of in Star Trek are being used now. Yes, a lot of us have talked about it, but few have been like you (not trying to blow air up your metaphorical skirt here) who have actually peered into the future and constructed it. When I meet the social media “experts” I’m still hearing the esoteric, hypothetical, “when we get to that point” language. We’re so beyond that now.

    I think that this is a really exciting time. I still say it’s marketing by yet another means, but to me it’s akin to when we in tennis switched from wood to metal and other high-tech rackets. Some lamented the death of the game (more power, less finesse). However, most saw the opportunity to do some really cool stuff. And we were blessed with a guy named Roger Federer.

  7. Peregrine

    LOL Steve. I’m a huge Nadal supporter (being a Spaniard, it’s a given), but have to give the Fed his due. Dude’s got talent. Not a fan of Djoko. Too many matches of whining and faking injury and illness over too many years. Just can’t take him seriously because he’s ruined his brand for me.

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