I’m sure you’d agree that marketing has changed a fair bit in the past few years.
In particular, media usage patterns have changed so fast that it’s hard for any marketer to keep up with the latest trends.
Just a mere few years ago, there was no smart phones, no social media.
Today adults and kids alike are glued to their smartphones like rats on a sticky trap.
Marketing has changed, but most marketers have not caught up with the changes…and are using antiquated ways of marketing that are fast becoming as obsolete as fax machines.
Let me explain.
Generally speaking, there’s two polarising school of thoughts in marketing and advertising.
Firstly, there are the Madison Avenue type ad agencies, many of whom are strong advocates of the branding approach.
They say branding is the essential part of any marketing and advertising campaign.
They advocate using advertisements so that people are aware of and are interested in your brand.
They believe repetition of advertisements is essential to generate desire and action to buy your products.
So over time, you can gain strong market share and more customers.
To them, ROI on each advertisement is not important. The most important metrics to them are things like mind share and market share.
On the opposing end of the spectrum you have the direct marketing school.
They believe that you need to measure every single ad that you produce, and calculate ROI figures on every ad. Every dollar that is spent on an ad must return more than one dollar, otherwise it is deemed as a failure.
Branding to them is a waste of money…if there is not a good ROI on one advertisement even if it generates a lot of awareness and attention, that’s not good enough!
The non-performing ad will be trashed as quickly as stale bread in a 6-star hotel and replaced with a higher performing one.
Both schools have been arguing about their own merits and the failures of the other school since the 50s.
To be honest, both approaches are causing businesses to leave money on the table, and not helping them take advantage of the latest marketing technologies.
Simply because of one word that has changed the landscape of marketing: RETARGETING.
So, what the heck is retargeting (or remarketing) and how does it change things?
Retargeting is simply the process where you re-advertise to people who have shown an interest in your offering previously.
They may have watched your video, visited your website or clicked on your advertisement.
With retargeting, you now have the amazing opportunity to target these people who have shown an interest in your information or offerings, and offer them something new.
It’s a common marketing and sales fact that people often will not act or purchase from you at the first contact.
People’s circumstances also change over time that could change their need/requirement for your product.
For instance, if I just had lunch at an ‘all you can eat’ pizza restaurant, even if you gave me a 90% discount on your lobster lunch menu right afterwards, I’m not going to come to you.
But if I had just walked out of my office and I’m looking for a place to have lunch, I might take up a much lesser 30% discount on your lunch menu.
That’s where retargeting is powerful, because I can re-advertise to people who have shown an interest in your product and they may eventually be ready to buy at some point in the future, when the timing is right.
It helps your prospects to self qualify, and allows you to tailor your message to them.
In my opinion, this completely changes the game.
I believe that neither the purist branding or direct marketing are good approaches in the first place.
The shortfall of the branding approach is the fact that many ad agencies and business owners neglect to develop a strategy to deepen the relationship between prospects and the business. It doesn’t take into account previous interactions.
On the other hand, the shortfall of the direct marketing approach is that you are leaving lots of money on the table, simply because people’s circumstances change.
I suggest that a better approach will be a hybrid approach- an approach that builds your brand and at the same time, gets a positive ROI on your ad dollars.
So how does this work?
First, it’s essential to overcome trust and credibility issues. This can be done by creating useful and timely content that helps your prospects solve their problems. Ads still need to be catchy in order to get their attention.
Secondly, don’t try to get to the sale right away. By removing the ‘buy now’ button, you build further credibility and the relationship with your prospects.
Thirdly, warm your audience up. Move them into something that deepens the relationship between you and them, whether it is giving a free sample, getting a free demo, signing to your mailing list or liking your Facebook page.
Fourthly, market to them by value adding…educate them, inspire them and sell them. Do a mixture of these approaches, don’t just try and sell them otherwise the relationship will deteriorate quickly.
This whole approach is about viewing each interaction with your prospects as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with them.
A useful way to think about it is like dating, if someone you met for the first time asked for your hand in marriage, you are going to run away as fast as a deer being chased by a lion.
But a coffee date may be palatable.
You need to devise a strategy with your marketing to move them deeper into the relationship, one step at a time.
A Facebook ‘like’ today may be the first step that results in big sale 3 months down the track.
Don’t do branding and send them the same smart, cute message all the time…have a strategy to deepen the relationship over time.
Neither should you try and do hard core direct marketing, where it’s either a yes or no (using the dating analogy, you will get slapped very often if you’re a guy).
On a side note, that’s why I think that paying advertising agencies a % of ad spend is a flawed model. It simply means the ad agency will find ways to encourage you to spend more, and they are not rewarded to cultivate those all-important relationships with your prospects on social media.
There’s a marketing revolution happening, the faster you adopt this approach, the faster your social media presence can grow, and the more effective your marketing will be.