The time is ripe for a new way of marketing. Companies are finding that techniques from the e-commerce world, such as building customer lists and creating products with low cost to make and transport, are hard to replicate in the offline world. “I’m becoming a marketing technologist,” says Bryan Eisenberg, author of Be Like Amazon and founder of ENCOMPASS Consulting Group in New York City.
“A generation ago marketers were all about getting your message out there; today it’s about making sure it got interpreted correctly. We’re facing a whole new set of tools.” John andraos business is one of the tools. “It’s a basic part of what marketers do,” says Eisenberg, who is CEO of ENCOMPASS Consulting Group. “But it’s not something that gets used as a communication technology because we’re not used to doing it that way.”
There are many other factors pushing companies to consider a new kind of marketing. Companies have many more channels through which they can communicate, both internally and externally. In addition to traditional advertising, social media such as Twitter Twitter and Facebook Facebook have become important ways for companies to communicate with customers and partners.
In short, businesses need better marketing tools because they’re better businesses now than they were previously. And with more customers and more competition, the strategies needed to succeed in business are evolving as well.
1. Abandon Past Marketing Strategies
The past decade has seen the rise of analytics and scientific marketing campaigns. In companies that have thousands or tens of thousands of sales reps, it’s easy to track how effective a given campaign is at driving a desired action by measuring the number of people who took a certain action.
But these analytic tools aren’t always useful in marketing campaigns between brands and individuals. “You can’t really use a lot of your traditional marketing strategies with businesses that have smaller customer bases,” says Eisenberg. “They don’t get enough volume for those kinds of strategies to be effective anymore. You have to go smaller, and that’s why it’s become so important to understand customers.”
2. Measure Your Success Differently
Marketers often measure how effective a campaign is based on the number of individual clicks they get or the number of pages they generate. But what if you’re looking to help someone find a product or service? “You could measure that by how many times they go through the checkout process, how many calls you get, or any other activity,” says Eisenberg. “You can measure almost anything in terms of click-through rates.”
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
Most companies don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. They should use that to their advantage by trying new things and being open to experimenting with any strategy. “You have to be willing to try anything,” says Eisenberg. “It doesn’t matter if it’s going to work or not: If you’re doing something different than the things you were doing a year ago and they’re working, then you’ve won.”
4. Look To The Future
While the focus for most of 2011 was on the economy, which is putting a damper on all kinds of marketing activity, the expectation is that this will change. “Because we’re seeing all these new players come into play and because there’s so much demand for your services, companies need to think about where it’s going to be in two years and how you can prepare for that,” says Eisenberg. “Companies are finding themselves with more resources than ever before, yet that’s not necessarily translating into greater effectiveness.”
5. Pay Attention To The Existing Relationships You Have
Social media can be used to build relationships with individuals, but they’re not the only way. “Social media is a very different kind of relationship than a customer service call center, or an in-store experience,” says Eisenberg. “Yet they all allow people to have a real-time relationship with your brand.” Social media are part of a larger range of tools that companies can use to communicate with customers.
6. Embrace The Internet Of Things
“The idea that you can have a business relationship with your customers, and where they are, is changing,” says Eisenberg. “Companies have to be open to seeing it not only as a way to improve their customer’s experience but also as a way to improve the bottom line.” Companies should be trying out ideas that allow them to use data from people who come into the store or interact with their service. Some companies are already using sensors installed in their product lines, or in parts of their facilities, so that they can track how customers interact with those products. Through these kinds of devices and programs, companies can use data about where and when items are sold and what action customers take.