Our customers are getting more and more savvy and honestly fed up with our tactics. We make an effort to impede their progress at every turn. We have ads in front of them all day. They know we are subsidizing their free social networks. They go out of their way to skip ads, block posts, and so on. In fact, a Pew study from 2013 that said 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.” The number 1 reason: hackers. The number 2 reason: ads! We were put in the same bucket as hackers, friends.
When you couple this with the fact that the C-Suite is looking for measurable and tangible results from the marketing spend, we could be in trouble with our current way of doing things. You know, the whole advertise and interrupt. It might be time to let go of a few things are re-think the way we go about marketing our wares.
Let go of brand ego
We are not the center of their universe. We are not even in their consideration set 90% of the time. I get to do a lot of social listening in my job and I have found that people talk about categories, not brands. I wonder if it is even possible sometimes to move the needle. Even the best-case scenarios, the people are only talking about brands 15% of the time.
But it isn’t only the notion that we rule the world. There are countless other ideas that we should start thinking about letting go of because our current model isn’t sustainable. The results are showing that we can’t continue to spend and spend and spend to get a split second’s consideration.
Ego is the driving force around brand feedback and listening. Stop spending all of your time getting feedback on the brand and the products. Talk about the needs of the customer, and then figure out if your product and brand fits into those needs. Now, I am not advocating that we abandon all product testing; I am just saying that we need to do more testing around the needs of the audience. In terms of listening, stop only listening to your brand. You are missing 85-98% of the conversations that should matter to you if you want to cut through the clutter.
“Without the customer, there would be no brand”
Let go of “relationships”
Our way of thinking about the customer is becoming a dinosaur; actually, it may have always been a mirage. We are not in a relationship with a customer. The idea is so romantic, but it is false. We trade stuff for money with them. That doesn’t even resemble a relationship. Yet we continue to stand up communities and websites and content that people have to come to “us” for. This is flawed. We should be looking for ways to integrate into the customer’s day vs. hijacking it.
The answer is to let go. Let go of thinking that you are in a relationship with a customer. You aren’t. Let go of needing their referrals. Let go of making them to come you. Let go of all of it. Let go of the brand ego. Realize that the customer is the center of their universe and our brands just might make their days incrementally easier.
Start making grabs
Instead, let’s try to make some different grabs. How about making a grab to add value? Being valuable and a trusted resource is where you should be sitting. We need to start creating opportunities for advocates to champion our value. And for the love of Pete, stop being afraid to measure what you’re doing. It’s chicken shit. Put the customer at the center of your universe, and measure the impact of this shift.
We cannot continue to expect people to come to us. We cannot continue to believe that our brand is the center of the universe. Because without the customer, there would be no brand. It is about the customer and it always should be.