There are those that would have you believe that marketing has changed dramatically and that you need things like big data and social media to be a successful marketer. That’s not true by a long shot. While consumers do have ways of “getting to the truth” and a lot of advertising is wasted the bottom line for a lot of products is still about making customers happy, whether at the time of purchase or when they use your product.
The next time you go into the grocery store, ask yourself “how many of these brands do I really want to have a relationship with beyond purchasing them and taking them home?”. Are we really naive enough to believe that consumers are going to stop in the aisle to check the calcium content of store brand vitamins? Of course not. There is a direct correlation between how much money people are willing to spend on a product and the amount of research they do that product. If I want to purchase a frozen pizza, then I’ll do it and if it’s not that good I just won’t buy it again. I am not going to bother my friends on social media to tell them about my disappointment, but if a brand really pisses me off with lousy customer service or a really poor product then I will tell the world.
The buzzword cycle in marketing is constantly in motion because journalists who work as so called “analysts” like to have something to write about. Then there are the experts who have pictures of themselves all over their BLOGS and try and sell books that are outdated as soon as they are published. We need to tune them out and think like a consumer who sees thousand of sales messages during the week. Haagen Dazs ice cream will never disappoint me and the brand promise is that my local grocer has vanilla bean in stock at a good price. I don’t need to follow them on social media I just need them to keep on keeping on.
We need to get closer to our customers no doubt, but we have to know when we’re getting too close and focus on basic marketing to deliver a good brand experience.
Not too long ago I sat in some market research with moms when the moderator asked “how many of you spend time online researching products you buy at the store?”. I was surprised to hear them say hardly ever but I did hear that word of mouth, whether online or in person, is a powerful motivator to try or stay away from some products. One woman talked about how one brand kept on sending her household cleaning tips so she could be “reminded” that her bathroom needed cleaning. “That’s one chore I prefer not to think about and I certainly don’t need an eMail to tell me how to clean toilet bowls”.
Before you buy into any new marketing buzzwords and spend a lot of money on tactics that are not going to mean a hell of a lot ask yourself “what are we really selling?” and “do consumers really want to have a relationship with my brand beyond the basic brand promise?”.