Monday, September 5, 2016

Stop Marketing...and Start Listening!

The Customer is in Control now!

For many, many years brands had the fortune of crafting and controlling their message to customers virtually single handed.  Through great creative and thoughtful marketing strategy brands were able to create extremely specific views of their product and/or service.  By investing heavy in media, PR and promotion the brands could virtually get customers to recite their messages.

From traditional channels (TV, radio, print, PR) to the new Internet enabled social word of today it's always been about having the best communication arc with the customer! 
About the the only channel with more impact, which is still true today, was word-of-mouth marketing.  What's different today is the ability to make word-of-mouth messaging as big or bigger than company controlled messaging.  The internet, social media, blogging and the explosion of new media channels has shifted the balance of power fully to the customer...and that's a very good thing for everyone.

Today more than ever business must be earned.  Business must be earned everyday by ensuring the customer is always satisfied with your product or service!  If an issue develops it seems everyone is watching to see how the company will address it.  Will the company go silent, defend the product and minimize the customer or will they they engage the customer and do everything in their power to make it right and improve their overall business in the process.  The companies that do the latter are thriving in today's connected world and they are growing rapidly.

The benefit to companies today is the ability to get feedback from their customers in real time.  The responsibility is to react to the feedback in the manner that reinforces who the company really is and what it is they stand for.  Brands and companies that look at the internet enabled new platforms as an expansion of marketing tools beyond traditional media like TV, radio, print, and even PR are leveraging the most important connection that matters and that is the customer connection.  We might start thinking about all the marketing tools available to brands as element in a communications arc with our customers - past, current and future.  Perhaps we should re-think of marketing as marceting and let the sum of the parts be greater than than the whole!

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