Towards A New Marketing Model
If your a marketing guy in the modern world who has a finger on the pulse of technology, you have pretty much came to the same conclusion that marketing has changed drastically. The conventional print and broadcast models have become borderline passe as newspaper hang on to readers and countless channels vie for a shrinking marketplace of advertisers. The old days of brand recognition are being replaced by informed consenting adults. Better educated, armed with better nonfiltered information getting to market should have become more complicated but instead it has become easier. In fact, if you can build websites you can have your idea online in minutes and with a little knowledge of blogging, SEO, and linking be in front of your potential market in days, not years. Careful with that, if you promise the moon and deliver mud you have a domain worth dirt.
The best and only real vehicle for success with an idea is your market, you can convince a million people with slick ads and promises and deliver a dud and find yourself out of business and millions lighter when your customers catch on. It stills defies logic how and why so many people fall prey to scams and scores when the Internet is teeming with forums and blogs that can and do crucify the perveyors of customer wallet separationism. But it still happens. That portion of the Internet still lies unknown to the uninformed masses but the select few know it and use it and get to keep their money.
In the new age of collobration and shared experiences, the consumer decides success or failure. The voice of the muted now determine whether it is thumbs up or down to an offer. The Internet safety net is in full swings and once you stick it to one or one hundred people it will race across the world with unimaginable speed.
You can’t sell mom or pop, they have to buy. You can’t carry the water to the horse and expect it to drink. Those days are gone. The old days where the need followed the offer are gone and although you can provide information to convince your potential customer that they need you, if you miss on any aspect of your offer, “hey-there’s a site from Blangledesh that is now offering the same.”
So what is the essense of the new models of marketing in the new century. Depending on where you sit it may still be text links, banner ads, and other like-minded ads placed on high traffic web sites but, here it is, that is no different from the wonderful world of print that is hemorraging blood. We have been trained for decades to overlook these ads. We don’t even see them. The same problem exists on web sites. Money being spent on a pay per click basis but who is clicking and what is being bought worst yet who is measuring traffic versus clicks. At least it can all be tracked for research purposes but it can be soiled by dubious web sites as well.
The fact remains that marketing has become a exercise in unknowns. Many try to reframe it as Marketing 2.0 or open source marketing but the fact remains we have entered an age where marketing is not driving the process. You can’t sell anymore, because your customer must be willing to buy first. If they want it, they go after and then you are a competitor for their attention. Brand loyalty, people have learned that lesson, and have moved on. The only saving grace is that one’s online reputation for taking care of your customer is deciding voice in the equation. Would you rather buy from Amazon or some off-ramp store with no history. Beat that for competitive advantage.
The customer is king and he will lope off your head if you screw with him. Get enough screwed customers and your doors will close on the Internet.
So the question becomes how do you draw customer, sell customers, and grow your business. Geez, the answer is 42, that’s for those familiar with Douglass Adams. I don’t have the answer, yet, and as far as I can see not one of the ‘experts’ do either. I have read enough from the seasoned professionals that they are all running in circles looking for the answer. You must focus on your offer, make yourself more viable against any competition and maintain a protective customer support system. You can’t please everyone, and you never will but you need the mechanism in place to keep down the voices that tremble the heavens with a chorus of “don’t shop there!”