The way companies have marketed their companies for decades (we'll call it old-school marketing), isn't working very well anymore.
With the onset of the digital age, old-school marketing has started to become less and less relevant. Access to the internet has established a new precedence for finding solutions to needs in the marketplace. A consumer no longer has to wait until they are interrupted by an advertisement to see the solution to their problem. Now there is Google, Yahoo and Bing. Type in your concern and there are millions of answers delivered instantly.
From here a consumer can now wade through the massive amount of data to find a solution and even a solution provider.
Old-school marketing = talking
Before the onset of search engines and the web, and still today, you have most companies using "advertising" to get their message of why their product or service is needed in front of their audiences.
This is considered talking. Talking at the customer looks like this: "Our new and improved widget is exactly what you need to solve your problem". The customer is being interrupted from what they are currently doing for the company to tell them this and then they quickly decide if it is relevant right then and there. If they are in the 10% who are actively looking for a solution for this particular problem, this works. For the other 90% of people, they are at best reminded of your solution in case they have that problem and most commonly just annoyed.
New School Marketing = Listening & Responding
Today, most consumers make 90% of their purchasing decision online. When they have a problem, they will query their friends and family (word of mouth network of influencers) and then they will take to the search engines.
They will read blog posts, watch videos and download case studies doing a quick deep dive into finding a solution. They've had an impression made by various companies who showed up on search and their opinion has been almost completely formed. At this point in the process they will sometimes reach out to an actual sales person to get a few final questions answered before purchasing.
This is the new buying journey.
With this new way of buying, companies have to evolve into a new way of marketing. By listening we have the ability to engage with a person as they are forming their opinion of what solution they need and who will provide it. This can be done several ways. A couple key ways are by reviewing who is coming to your website and what content they are engaged. This will give you an idea of how to provide visitors with more of what they are really looking for. This can be accomplished technically by looking at number of unique page views and content that has been requested for download.
Understanding what people are looking for and putting that content in front of them is the whole game of new-school marketing.
Here are some diagnostic questions to ask yourself to see if you are still using old-school marketing tactics. If you answer yes to any of these, you are just talking.
- Are you using social media but just posting features and benefits about your products/services?
- Do you give information more than you are telling a story?
- Is your brand oriented around interrupting a customer with news about you?
Here are few key ways to start listening and responding:
- Think about what your future customer wants to know when they first start searching for a solution. Write a blog post about it and share the question and answer on your social platforms.
- Join a industry specific forum and start weighing in on the conversation. Answer questions that are being posed and lend your expert opinion without bringing the discussion back to how great your products/services are.
- Contrast the differences between a good solution and a bad solution for your future customer's problem. Don't talk about you, just build a set of criteria the customer should be thinking about when trying to solve their problem. Give them the answers.
Take the next step:
Connect with one of our experts to learn more about how your company can stop talking and start listening and responding.