Have you heard all those technology and marketing buzz words – Marketing automation, Lead nurturing & generation, Digital Marketing, Big Data, Machine Body Language, Web analytics, Web traffic, Content marketing, Webinars, Email Marketing, Youtube Videos, SEO, Social Media, PR, Blogs, Newsletters…..and on and on….sometimes makes you believe that marketing has changed – or has it?
Being a marketer for almost 2 decades across the world and launching over 25+ products – I agree that the tools of marketing have evolved tremendously. Technology has impacted marketing but basics remain the same – the characteristics that defined success in marketing.
If you want to know what will work, let us try to take you back to the basics – future of marketing is still in the customers’ hands. Consumer has not changed. And to me the 4 key characteristics of marketing focused on consumer remain as follows.
- Engage and listen
As a business leader in large multinationals and now a small business owner for a start-up, I have had the pleasure (and sometimes displeasure) of working with a few vendors. The one that really made the difference in my mind despite their high cost were the ones who truly engaged and cared about our business. How we can help, please tell me your questions, ask me and I will get you the expert were the exchanges tha would appear immediately. Knowing your target audience and spending time to figure out where they talk, network, read, tweet etc., and doing the research to just LISTEN to what they value and need. People actually tell you what they want, like, dislike, motivation etc.,
- Understand and empathize
If success in marketing was to boil down to just one word – it would be empathy. It is the ability to understand the perspective of your client and customize your sales pitch, value prop. product and services features, prices etc., around the need of the client. It is the ability to understand feelings, motivation, thoughts and goals of your clients.
- Deliver an out of world user experience
You need to engage, listen, understand and have the capability to empathize before you can even think about delivering an out of world user experience. I recently travelled in an Airlines who claim to be Europe’s best user experience and it was the exact opposite. I have gone to two branches of the same bank and found the user and customer experience so much different (Because the one that delivers better client experience is further from my home and I still go there). I can tell throughout the experience how not to do it and claim something exact opposite. User experience is as much a part and key characteristic of marketing as it is for sales, operations and other aspects of business.
- Keep building trust with your clients
Price vs. value, ROI vs. Cost, KPIs etc.,…I am sure you have heard these words thrown around in marketing. Nothing is more important in the entire LBGUPS (Learn, Buy, Get, Use, Pay, Support) or value chain than having a company behind a brand that people trust. I worked in a company which took over several years to build that trust and boy was it a long journey. It cannot be earned short term.
In conclusion, the past and future remains embedded on the four pillars of marketing. It remains in the customers’ hands and not in the hand’s of marketing gurus or sales experts. It all boils down to four basic characteristics of marketing. You just need to recognize that whatever marketing tools get thrown your way – the basics remains the same.
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