Back in “the day” there were factories that pumped out products and people bought. There was a race to see who could produce most and how fast and efficiently those products could be sold. Marketers were loud and obnoxious (sorry friends, its true) and marketing was one of those fields that consumers despised because they saw it as being pushy and irrelevantly unnecessary to them.
Today, marketing is a whole new creation with entirely new objectives. I took a marketing class a few years back that went through the history of marketing and I was amazed at the transition that has happened in conjunction with the newer digital era. Together, the internet and the reconstruction of the marketing industry have shaped the way businesses thrive.
Marketers today are no longer shoving papers in everyone’s faces (or at least they shouldn’t be) but rather seeking those that WANT what they have to offer. This is done through extensive and on-going research as well as consistent engagement; using the consumer insights as a basis for the engagement strategies. Brands interact with consumers through social media platforms, websites, etc. to ensure that the consumers are finding value in the brand and to ensure that the brand is viewed as a member of a two-way relationship.
The way businesses build a relationship with their customers shows more about a business’ marketing team than one might think. Customers don’t care about the brand in terms of making it a profit, but rather care about what value the brand can bring to the table. This value is measured through the needs and wants of utility and entertainment. In exchange for the value, consumers are willing to exchange money for a certain price that meets their needs and wants. It is a more gentle give and take relationship instead of a harsh push and pull.
With the era of information being “in the now,” customers can find out more about brands than ever before. This allows them to enter into the consumer journey at any point. Previously, consumers came through a processed journey that started with salesmen offering information about products. Now, consumers can know every detail of the product before ever contacting the seller or going to the store. This means that companies must consider the user’s journey from all points and angles while ensuring that open communication and transparency about what the company offers are always at top of mind for those actually engaging with consumers. Information helps consumers to better find what they want, which means businesses had no choice but to learn to adapt to meeting consumers’ needs in new and diverse ways.
Instead of trying to sell customers something, it is now encouraged for businesses to find who they are targeting, find valuable and relevant insights about that “who” and then strategically create an appeal that draws the consumer to the value being offered by the business. The value must be made clear and must be specific. Once this is established, consumers will enter a business relationship with the company and will, if they find deep value, share the business’ offering with their personal relationships...thus, positive word of mouth.
The changes that have taken place over the past few decades have shaped the way consumers interact with businesses and even one another. It has brought a culture of information and growth to both the consumer and the businesses. And it has brought to light a shift that allows people to freely engage with businesses in a way we have never seen before in history. Is this a fun and unique point in time for those in the marketing industry or what?!
The Nourishing Business Solutions blog exists to help business owners find the value in marketing and to offer practical tips and advice on how to make little changes go a long way when growing your business. The day to day habits you build will either help your company grow or help it wither away.