Some businesses want marketing to be what it once was. They want to stay in their comfort zone of impersonalized interruptions traditional marketing and advertising. They fear anything other than creating a one-time ad, passing out flyers to strangers or cold calling. But the fact is we can no longer interrupt humans to win the marketing game.
I recently attended a digital marketing conference (#Inbound13) where this was confirmed. Props to Seth Godin, a well-known marketing guru and author, who opened the conference with a chilling synopsis of how TRADITIONAL MARKETING NO LONGER WORKS.
Here’s what he taught me: you can no longer buy your way to get brand or product attention. People expect more and when you don’t give them more, they ignore you or even worse they write a review or blog about how annoying your business is and share it with their networks.
So what’s the shortcut to building a human connection with people?
According to Godin, there is no shortcut but a series of “being remarkable” steps that get you there:
Start by coordinating your network. Build a foundation of support for your brand or product by fostering an exchange of ideas or daring to do doing things differently. Find people who are interested in what you offer, start a conversation and grow your network from there.
An example: Before Dan Delaney opened his widely popular New York City restaurant Brisket Town, he wanted to develop a loyal fan following and beta-test his food product, a feat that is extremely hard to do in the Big Apple.
He began selling his brisket online and inviting customers to secret pop-up events where he would cook for his followers. His followers felt very important, became loyal brand ambassadors and quickly spread the word (by mouth and social media) about Dan’s brisket, and pretty soon he had enough clout in the city to open his own location. He found a way to get ahead in a crowded market.
Once you have created your network, gain their trust by delivering relevant messages. The next time you think about sending another email campaign to your network, ask yourself: if we stopped sending our ideas would people miss it? If the answer is no, then you need to restructure the content and ideas you are offering to your network.
For example: At the Bradford Group, I started a weekly company newsletter filled with big wins for each of our staff members, relevant industry articles and trends and yes, copious amounts of Buzzfeeds to lift my colleague’s spirits. It was something that our employees looked forward to getting each week, and if it didn’t go out every week, they told me how much they missed it and wanted me to bring it back. Translation: tapping into and delivering what your network wants will have them craving and waiting for more.
Once you make that human connection in marketing, you will have a brand ambassador for life. These ambassadors will make it their business and top priority to tell as many people as possible about their refreshing experience. And that’s where the magic happens. Your network grows.
For some, doing things differently can be scary. Not every business is up to the challenge of abandoning traditional marketing tactics. If you’re one of those businesses trying to figure out how to do something bigger and cross over into the new age of marketing, we’ve got the answers and actual tools to help you find your network and start making human connections.
Let me help you start connecting.
photo credit: a totally awesome sign at #Inbound13