Look back 50 years and marketing was a very different beast. Products had longevity, people invested in long life items, rather than the disposable society we are fast speeding towards. Audiences were naïve to what went on ‘behind the scenes’ and adverts were often viewed with trust and respect. The use of mass media was the only way to reach your target audience, but it worked. The brand was in charge of the relationship and the marketer sat in the driving seat.
Fast forward to 2018 and people expect more, much more. The consumer has taken charge. The focus has made an unusual shift, away from the product, and now lands firmly on the consumer and its interactions with the brand, both online and offline. Brands’ definition of success now encompasses the interactions and conversations taking place with users, and even between users themselves. Companies are striving for better engagement, which leads to a better understanding of its target audience, which comes round to improve the engagement further. It is a constantly evolving cycle, with the aim of building long-term sustainable relationships.
To achieve this engagement, communication with your target audience needs to be regular and consistent. It needs to reach them where they are, online or offline, and it needs to be truly interactive. One way messages pumped out to mass audiences are no longer going to win the brand race. Even with the best messaging and a great product, users want to get to know the brand in this interactive social environment before they invest their time or money.
As users increasingly interact with brands, and each other, online, it is becoming more difficult to control the image of your brand. User-generated content, reviews, forums, social posts all have the power to add to or to subtract from your brand. The number of areas that users now expect a brand to deliver on is constantly expanding. To truly be a success a brand needs to have a strong online presence, be cost and time efficient, use an integrated approach to marketing, engage with its users, and that’s not to mention the principles and values that are now considered so important for a company to demonstrate.
With so many variables it can feel at times like it is an insurmountable task. This is just the new marketing normal. If you haven’t already now is the time to shift your focus externally, no longer is just about your product, its about your users and how you encourage them to build a long term sustainable relationship with you. And if you can pick up some advocates, and even super fans, along the way then you are on the path to success. It is time to align better with your target audiences core values and really become a customer-focussed business. How do you do that? This is where the marketer steps back into the driving seat. Don’t have a marketer? This is where you contact us!