We have been living in the era of marketing, ever since cavemen bartered food for pots. The Internet enables marketing to reach levels way beyond what was possible 30 or even 20 years ago. There are many ways in which marketing has changed in the modern era. Here are four tips to help you live it up and prosper in this new chapter.
1. The Customer is Closer to You
At one time, you and your customers were set well apart from each other. Your office was yours, and customers rarely entered it. Not now. The Internet means every successful company has a website. That enables customers to see right into your organization. There is more transparency of your business and its faults. Before the Internet and the rise of social media, if your products failed to deliver your advertised promise then few people would know about it.
Businesses no longer control the flow of information between themselves, suppliers and customers. In many cases that is now controlled by the customer. Information about organizations is controlled and spread by customers, and businesses must be ready with appropriate responses. Your customers are no longer ‘somewhere out there’ but are right on your doorstep, with your website as their portal to your secrets.
2. Transparency is Total: You Can Hide Nothing
You can hide nothing on the Internet. Transparency is total, and any faults in the way you treat your customers or issues with your products will be spread all over the Internet. There was a time when bad customer service or product faults would be largely hidden. Businesses did not send out letters commenting on their own faults. Customers affected may have discussed issues with friends and relatives, but this was generally kept to a small circle of people.
Now, social media is king! All of these issues will be reported online – on any of the myriad forums and social sites. You must perform – your product must perform – or your company will be rubbished all over the net. In this new marketing era it is essential that you stick to your promises. You must provide the quality of product or service you promise to provide.
3. Social Media is Not Responsible for Marketing Failure
In the past, poor service, poor products and downright advertising lies rarely went beyond the poor customer involved. Today, however, it’s all over the forums, shared on Facebook, tweeted and retweeted countless times and Amazon customers can read all the reviews and product issues. News about poor products, PR issues and unethical practices are spread throughout the Internet and the marketplace at the speed of light – literally!
That said, it would be a mistake to accuse social media for the way business is evolving. Consumer expectations are changing. This is a new marketing era where consumers keep each other informed. Mavens no longer extol product virtues on street corners – they communicate their message by the thousands online.
4. Live it Up – Don’t Let it Down
To make best use of this marketing era you must live it up and make the best of it. Did you know there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world? This pointless statement has been made countless times! What does it show? That something completely inane and unprovable can be believed as though it were fact! At one time, this type of catchphrase was the basis of huge marketing campaigns.
Marketing has changed. Many businesses are now focusing on core values that engage everybody from company employees, through distributors and vendors all the way to the customer. The concept of quality and keeping promises and commitments is now at the core of a new marketing era. Keep your word and maintain your quality – and not least, always do the right thing.
The New Marketing Era – The Age of Social Media
Look at yourself and your organization. Do you like what you see, or can you see room for improvement? Do you keep your promises and are your products the best they could be? The new marketing era involves a lot of talk. People talk about your business, your services and your products. One statement about any of these will get round the world in an instant. Times have changed!
Look inward, not outward. Be positive about yourself and your products, live it up and project your confidence. People must communicate good things about you, so look at yourself right now and look for faults. Promises you cannot meet. Claims you should not have made. Then put them right!
Embrace social media. Use it to your advantage. Train your employees in how to use social media as an effective marketing tool. In any marketing era you must make best use of the tools available to you at that time. However, never lose sight of the best marketing strategy of all: keep your word, maintain your quality and know your market.
Author: Sonal Patil is an avid reader and loves to experiment with new ideas. She is a research analyst and enjoys working on market data at a market research report providing firm in the industry. When she’s not doing this you will find her traveling and discovering new places.