Marketing. It is everywhere, every day. We see it. We hear it. We smell it. We taste it. We touch it. All of this happens on a daily basis. Sometimes this is consciously and sometimes it is unconsciously. “Try this.” “Doesn’t that smell good?” “Did you hear the new record by [insert latest trending band]?” “Have you tried that new restaurant?” As you read this, you are being marketed to right now. It is an unstoppable force. You could move out to the middle of nowhere and cut off all media. Technically, I guess, you could stop it. But I imagine the group that fits into that category is quite small. It has become the norm that if you live in most cities across our nation. You are inundated with massive amounts of information (on a daily basis) to purchase goods, services, vacations, etc.. It really is unbelievable.
So what can we do to deal with this phenomenon? We can accept and embrace it or not. The fact of the matter is that the world has changed. Gone are the days of big advertising campaigns that include T.V., magazine and radio ads. These days, everything is done using grass roots, viral techniques. Terms like ‘Guerilla Marketing’ are the norm. We build networks of family, friends, co-workers, peers and people we don’t even know on different Social Media platforms. We then take those networks and flood them with messages that hopefully catch like wild fire and spread. Companies that have used such techniques include giants like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and Pinterest. I would venture to say that they seem to work.
They say we are 7 people away from knowing everyone in the world. When I started my professional career, I heard this and thought there is no way this can be true. Fast forward several years and experiences in the last decade, I have no doubt that this IS indeed true. There is always a guy or gal in your circle that knows a guy or gal. This can lead to new business for you and your company. Think about it for a moment. Would you rather take the word of a magazine ad or someone you know when it comes to figuring out if you want to purchase a new product? People would rather trust someone they know and not an ad they see on T.V.. It’s here that we see the issue businesses and their marketing department need to change – their images and ways of doing business. The stigma has been attached that businesses don’t care and just want to sell, sell, sell. Also, that the main sticking point is quantity and not quality. As someone in marketing, this is an uphill battle we have to face. We have to convince our clients and customers that this is not the case. Luckily, there is hope on the horizon and we can change this from an uphill battle to a downhill coasting.
This brings me to my next point. People trust people, not businesses. To succeed and grow as a business, one needs to focus on maximizing the relationships they already have. Invest in those relationships. For a moment, let’s leave business out of this and take a side-step for a story. Think about all those times you had to move when you were younger. You would call up your family and friends and offer some beer and pizza to help you move from point A to point B. They willingly helped you out, not because the lure of free pizza and beer is so awesome, but rather, they know that someday they will be able to call on you and ask for your help in the same exact way. And you will do it. Call it what you will, but this is a great example of maximizing relationships. People helping people. Be kind. Follow the Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. Ask your current clients how things are going. Ask them if there are things we can improve upon. Do not shove them aside and move onto the next client once you have signed them on.
In conclusion, this will bring us back to the beginning of this article. Marketing is everywhere. You cannot escape it. Every time your name comes up in an article or conversation would be considered marketing. Good, bad or indifferent, and whether you want it or not, these types of things are marketing of you and your company. Your best marketing will not be money spent, but time invested maximizing relationships with current and future clients. They will speak on your behalf and there is nothing more powerful than that. These types of messages will spread like wild fire through conversations and social media. Do not be scared, but embrace this type of marketing. It is the future……..and here to stay.
Brian Dietderich – Marketing Director at Class Appraisal