The balance of power has shifted in marketing. It’s like being on a seesaw with a growing child. Over time they become bigger and bigger, to a stage where they are bigger than you. Now they’re the heavyweights bossing you around.
You can’t just dumbly advertise. You need to do things differently. Here’s 4 marketing approaches which are much more powerful than advertising.
Give earth-shattering customer service
Imagine you’re 7-year-old Luka Apps. You took your Jay ZX Lego minifigure to the supermarket, only for it to fall out your pocket. Then your Dad tells you to write to Lego. In response they send you an awesome email offering a replacement and a baddie for him to fight. How would you feel? You’d love Lego for life!
There’s plenty of these stories around! My sister accidentally dropped her iPhone down the toilet, and went back to the Apple store. The manager took pity on her and offered her a free replacement.
Use your customer service as a beacon of goodwill. Giving away a few goodies might be a bit expensive, but it is the cheapest way to earn lifelong brand advocates. Ads are a one-off nuisance. Whereas these stories and good feelings will last a lifetime, and people will broadcast these stories to their friends.
Listen to your reviews – promote the positive ones, learn from the bad
Have you ever looked for a hotel? What sold you? Was it the hotel’s self-description or was it the guest reviews? Other guests won’t ignore the cockroaches, overlook the toenails on the floor, or forget to mention the freeway outside your window. They’ll let you know.
Of course reviews aren’t perfect. Which is why we read so many of them. 84% of us trust a brand after reading 10 reviews according to the Local Consumer Review Survey 2012. We trust other people and their feedback.
Listen to the reviews of your company like a top-secret spy. Take their feedback on board. If it’s positive – plonk it on the front of your website. If it’s bad, make improvements based on what your customers said. Their opinions matter more than ever now.
Engage people with your content
You should create magnetic content which brings buyers towards you. You should produce materials which consumers will really really want. Look at tablespoon for example – they’ve got loads of delicious recipes which people want. They hook you in.
Content marketing is much more effective than advertising. With blog posts, guides, white-papers and videos, you won’t need to buy adverts. People will come towards you because they like what you have to say. If your content is valuable to somebody – they’ll remember you for it. And share it with their friends.
Engage with top influencers
Some people are more influential than others. There may be a certain company, person, or blogger which holds huge sway. Positive reviews from these guys are invaluable!
Airlines have been offering free upgrades to people with high Klout scores. Will Cathay Pacific be remembered well for upgrading people to their posh airport lounge? They will be. They’ll be tweeted about.
Look for the most powerful people in your industry and get in touch with them. Show them your product, offer them perks and treat them especially well. They’re probably more powerful than you so you should treat them accordingly.
The public are now more powerful than your company’s might. At best, your advertising can be contextual and slightly helpful. Think search engine PPC. But most of the time it’s just a nuisance. When you watch TV – do you watch it for the ads, or your favourite show?
Step up your content marketing, listen to customers, soup up your customer services, and speak to the people with power. Then your marketing budget will go a lot, lot further.