We can talk about integrated marketing, social media and content marketing till the cows come home. It doesn't mean a hill of beans. What marketing is really all about, boiled down to its very essence is this:
Earn the Trust of Prospective Buyers
That's right - it's all about trust. I believe when we embrace the need to earn trust, we can re-think how we do marketing in the first place. Here are our four keys to earning trust.
Need for deep understanding
CMO.com just published a survey which shows that buyers want companies to understand them - do research rather than advertising. (Forget Advertising, Do Market Research by Karl Greenberg, 1/17/2012) Seth Godin once said "Forget email. I want ME-mail." The need to understand buyers and truly listen is greater than ever.
Accept the Fact You are No Longer in Control
Buyers today are firmly in control. Paul Gillin, author of Social Media for the Business Customer told me "This is the single biggest change recently. When a 22 year old recent college grad can bring Bank of America and Verizon to throw in the towel, the balance of power has truly shifted.
Your company needs to be everywhere online - not just a website, but an active, frequently updated blog (the heartbeat of the business), Facebook, Linkedin, Digg, delicious, Twitter, and even Google Plus. The idea is quite simple - when a prospective buyer looks to solve a problem, it could be any time day or night. You have to be there.
The world is more noisy and chaotic than it has ever been. As a results, you need to strive to be heard. You could use humor, like Kinaxis' award winning SuiteMates series.(www.suitemates.com) Or you could engage thought leaders in your industry. You could even do a weekly online TV show like Mad Marketing TV (www.madmarketing.tv) as Act-On Software did. The bottom line for us is to use the line we love "Let Your Freak Flag Fly"
The bottom line is that your company needs more than ever to EARN the trust of prospective buyers. Focus on earning trust - not campaigns - and watch your business grow.
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