Have you embraced the changes in marketing?

by Ken McEwen, Ken McEwen Public Relations

In the past, marketing and advertising used to be all about grabbing people’s attention to deliver your selling message. These days, effective marketing should be more about holding people’s attention.

The emphasis is on creating and sustaining a relationship with your customers and potential customers. What makes this complex is that customers now have so many ways in which they can relate with your business and your brand.

They may research your corporate website on the office computer, check your LinkedIn profile on their mobile, find a reference to you on an online forum and read updates about you on their social media accounts.

Customer satisfaction in this ‘connected’ age is about much more than just product and service. It’s about the total customer experience.

Take the example of a hotel business. In past, if your rooms were uninviting or the breakfast eggs were cold, it took time for word of mouth to get round. Now the message can be aired instantly on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a myriad of other channels.

You have to take this new connected world seriously. One negative report could have a profound effect on your business. It could influence hundreds, or thousands of existing and potential new customers.

a community of brand ambassadors

The importance of a good customer experience is well known. It is invariably easier to sell products or services to someone who is already engaged with your business, than to find and convert ‘cold’ leads.

This should bring the new world of blogs, social media and content marketing right into the core of your marketing effort.

This is an outstanding opportunity to engage with existing and potential customers. The aim is to create a loyal community of customers and potential customers and empower them as ambassadors for your brand.

But, you will only get people following if you provide the right experience. You need good content that will inform, entertain and encourage interactivity.

Done right, this community of potential customers and brand ambassadors will grow as your messages are spread, through viral broadcast, to bring in new members into your community.

We have seen this well illustrated with our own social media clients.

By creating the right content, we have extended the reach for one oil and gas client, to more than 6,000 people in 45 countries around the world. That reach is growing steadily every day through viral networking.

The value of a community of customers and potential customers spreading the message about your brand, is surely obvious.

This new marketing approach does not replace traditional advertising and promotions. It should be integrated into a marketing programme that will utilise social media and content marketing to increase its overall effectiveness.
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