I walked into my living room the other day and the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” was on TV. I’m easily sucked into any movie and found myself watching a scene where three employees of an ad agency are pitching a tagline to their boss hoping he will choose them to pitch the client.
The movie is only 14 years old, but it got me thinking about how much deeper marketing is today thanks to technology. For example, the iPhone didn’t exist, Facebook had not been launched to the public yet, and Google was at the IPO stage. Branding, taglines and advertising are still important but there is so much more you can accomplish.
People are looking for answers, advice and a connection and smart companies capitalize on that. This all leads to, as one marketing expert I know puts it, your “convincing advantages.”
How does this look in real life? Here are a few examples:
- Answers: American Express’ OPEN Forum site has become its No. 1 source of leads for new card members because it provides credible information that answers people’s questions. Plus, it ranks high in search engines. As a result, trust is formed and a relationship that ends in business is created.
- Advice: Online fashion subscription services that provide customers with a stylist who chooses clothing specifically for them are red hot. Somebody realized this form of advice takes the pain out of finding the right clothes for those who hate shopping and now even Amazon is getting into the game.
- Connection: Tom’s shoes aren’t exactly the best looking shoes on the market but the company has sold more than 75 million pairs. The main reason is another 75 million have been donated to children in need. People connect with that mission.
We operate in a world where the information stream coming at each of us is one giant pipeline inside which businesses are competing with social media posts from family and friends and countless forms of entertainment. Create content that answers your customers’ questions, be a source of quality advice and find a way to really connect with them to break through the clutter.
Kirk Stelsel, CAE
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA