Jeff Molander is a marketing keynote speaker, leadership speaker, marketing futurist and adjunct professor of digital direct marketing at Loyola University''s school of business. As CEO of Molander & Associates Inc. he helps build profitable businesses by improving digital marketing outcomes by making them accountable to business goals. Jeff can be reached at email@example.com
The statements routinely made by “the Internet marketing experts” don't just sound ridiculous... they ARE. More importantly, they signal a DISCONNECT with your business objectives. You can't control customers anymore.
You need to enter “the conversation” or risk becoming irrelevant. And when you start conversing you must be transparent and humanize yourself. You need to be monitoring the pulse of your brand image... oh and mapping customers' social graphs and architecting personas and on and on.
But rather than look at these typical Web 2.0 statements as valid, let's INVALIDATE them.
No, you haven't lost control of your customers. No the conversation they're having about you isn't really new... it's just amplified and expedited by the Web.
Your brand image IS human and you ARE honest with customers. The truth is that what digital experts are offering as business advice is OUTSIDE OF THE CONTEXT of your question:
“How can I use digital media to create sales, better products and improved experiences for my customers?”
You see most experts are selling the wrong answers to the right questions... yours.
Look, if we continue to believe the hype-and-spin... that the rules of business have forever changed we risk believing that engaging, Tweeting and Friending is more important than making sales or capturing leads. Or believing that somehow all we need to do is DO social media and the sales will roll right-on-in based on some kind of aimless “conversation.”
Now I empathize with the need to do something rather than nothing. Customers are immersed in the digital sea... distracted from marketing messages. But do you care if Facebook, Twitter, your digital marketing agency or any such company has the ability to feed their family – more than you care about YOUR ability to feed YOUR family? Of course you don't. But sometimes I see marketers acting like they do.
Some are calling things like “buzz” or bigger Facebook Friend-counts or handing out discount coupons using Twitter WINS. These aren't wins. You know that. These anecdotes aren't part of the big opportunity. And there IS opportunity with digital media.
Creating sales and leads using the social Web demands we see the big lie as a lie: The fundamental rules governing your business haven't changed.
There is no “digital revolution”... just evolution. A change in our ENVIRONMENT. Trying to PERSUADE in this environment (aka advertising) doesn't work. What does? Leading marketers are now translators. They're discovering customer need, analyzing it, feeding it back into the company and acting on it.
The opportunity is to discover hidden customer need... nurture and capture it. Let's take Amazon as an example. Their marketing employees function as experiential shepherds. When they come into work each day, they don't create clever messages and promotions to broadcast at customers. They don't tell customers what they should want. They interact and TRANSLATE their evolving needs... and find ways to prompt behaviors that eventually lead to a sale. How?
By publishing and by creating UTILITIES.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?