Traditional marketing used to be the silver bullet for increasing sales and obtaining more customers. It could incite loyalty in existing clients and coax new prospects into trying your products or services. This is no longer the case. People have been bombarded with marketing messages, ad campaigns, and sales pitches for decades. People have grown accustomed to having every moment in their day inundated with unsolicited, unwanted messages.
As a society we’ve grown calloused to their efforts. We are forced to watch ads before we view videos, delete spam from our in-boxes, and scroll past them to read the content we are after. The common person considers them a nuisance at best. At worst it’s a violation of our personal space and an insult to our intelligence.
We can never stop ‘marketing’ to people, but if we can view it in another light we may be able to change the way people react to it and engage with our companies. Here are 3 reasons we need to begin thinking of marketing as serving our clients instead of selling to them:
1. Captive Audiences No longer Exist
The days of the captive audience disappeared with the invention of TiVo. As soon as people realized they didn’t have to watch commercials they started to become hyper-aware of the ads they were having thrust upon them. As a society this become a release from the shackles we had been accustomed to for so long.
You are probably wondering questions like: what about ads in places like sporting events or movie theaters? Well, people are opting out of those too, mostly by staring at their phones. If it’s not relevant to their life, they are not going to let you invade their mental space.
Relevance is the best way to truly reach your ideal audience. By targeting the people who would benefit most from your offerings you can narrow the field in which you play. Once you have condensed your audience you need to prove to them you are worthy of their attention.
Give them something. Not a coupon or seudo ‘benefit’. Actually give them something useful! Don’t worry about giving away the farm for free, be more concerned about helping them. Serve your potential clients. A genuine attitude of service will win the hearts and attention of the people you want to reach.
2. Competition for People’s Attention is Fierce
Everyone is clawing for the attention and loyalty of new customers. If you use a traditional marketing campaign you will just be pushed to the side with every other marketing strategy. You will be ignored! This is a nail in the coffin. Once people get the feeling that you are trying to sell to them, they shut you out. ‘In your face’ marketing and advertising techniques will cause you to lose more clients than you will gain.
How do you stand out from the rest of the marketing campaigns? Once again, the answer lies in serving the people that need your products or services. If you can provide true help to people that need it (read: Serve them) you will not only cultivate customers that are more loyal you will have others seeking out your help.
Sure, you may get burned a few times in the process. There will always be people looking to take advantage of a free consultation or trial, but being genuine in your desire to help will increase your chances of actually reaching your audience.
3. People are Protective of Their Time and Influences
The digital age has allowed people to become smarter with regards to the way they accept influences in their lives. They are very cautious of where they place their loyalty and standoff-ish with regards to commitment. No one wants to invest their time and emotional energy into any company that just wants their patronage. Not only are people protective of themselves, they are very protective of how they influence those in their network. There is a fear that we will be lumped in with the people that forward chain emails and alienate their friends.
You are probably wondering how to overcome this. Be genuine. If you want people’s loyalty you have to earn it, not ask for it. Serve someone so well that they are compelled to share it with their network. Never ask someone to sell or promote your offerings. If they are helped enough, they will want to preach your benefits to the world!
People are quick to post bad reviews, but it takes a very special experience for someone to promote a product or service to their friends. If you work hard at serving and helping, people will feel responsible for helping you become more successful.
Taking on an attitude of service can change the public’s perception of what you provide to your clients. No one wants to feel like a ‘prospect’. However, everyone likes to feel served. Choose to serve your clients well and endorsements will spread like wildfire! Be