We’ve all been there: just when you’re getting into a Youtube video or TV show, a commercial comes on and spoils your enjoyment... Today, the average person receives 30,000 marketing messages like these on a daily basis! If you’re like most people, you’ll probably zone out once these ads come on, and forget what they’re even about moments later (that is, if you’re not frantically looking for a ‘Skip Ad’ button!). Just to be clear: advertising itself isn’t the problem, and of course you need to get the word out about your business! The problem is when your ads come across as being irrelevant, unhelpful, and distracting to your potential customers. While short ads might seem like a harmless example, they point to a bigger issue that companies are facing: people expect ads to be an inconvenience, not something that will benefit their lives!
To stand apart from all the noise, you’ll have to ditch the conventional (and unethical) marketing tactics of yesterday and adopt what we call a Modern Marketing approach.
What is Modern Marketing?
In short, Modern Marketing is about putting your customer’s needs first, telling relatable stories, being transparent, and getting people excited to buy from you. Here’s how... 1. Address your customer’s needs:
Back when advertising was in its early stages, people didn’t mind seeing a few TV commercials during their shows. They were short, there weren’t too many of them, and (perhaps more importantly) they were unskippable anyways! These days, ads are much easier to avoid, especially with ad blockers on most internet browsers. Now more than ever, the context in which your ads are placed makes all the difference. If someone is watching a Youtube video to learn how to cook Lobster Tail, they most likely don’t want to sit through an ad for an auto parts shop! If you’re going to advertise, go to where your customers are actually spending their time!
2. Tell stories that people actually want to hear:
When people engage with your brand, they want to feel like you truly understand the problems they’re going through. Lenovo, a technology company that’s well-known for its computers, uses its marketing to tell stories that people can relate to.
Their promo videos often feature stories from real business people who use Lenovo products to share their passions or take care of an issue they’re facing at work. Stories like these can engage your audience, and let them know you understand their concerns!
3. Build trust through transparency:
When it comes to making a purchase, no one likes to be surprised by hidden costs. “Processing Fees” and other unexpected expenses aren’t just inconvenient, they’re unethical when they aren’t mentioned ahead of time! To build trust with your customers through your marketing, you must be transparent about the value you provide with your products and services. First, make a promise to your customers, and then over-deliver on that promise! Once you go beyond your customer’s expectations, they’ll tell other people about your company for years to come.
4. Get people excited to make a purchase:
This is where things really get interesting. Most businesses try to minimize tension and excitement, basically telling their customers: “Buy our thing because we want you to”. When you go to fill up your car at a gas station, you simply pay and expect the pump to work as usual. It’s all very routine, so there’s little excitement in making a purchase. But when you introduce something new to the market, people start to ask themselves “This sounds great... but is this really going to work out?!” For example, most people were highly skeptical of Tesla when they first released their all-electric vehicles. Once early adopters discovered how well their cars performed, there was no stopping their raving endorsements!
How does this affect your bottom line?
Today, getting the word out about your business isn’t just about saying more words. Modern Marketing is about understanding and helping your customers, building relationships with them, surprising them with incredible value. Social media and review sites like Yelp have made brand reputation a priority for many businesses, and for good reason. A single negative customer interaction could potentially go viral, but positive reviews always get noticed. While the modern marketing approach might make it harder to cut corners, there’s no telling how many people you’ll reach when customers start spreading the word for you!