Direct mail, email, telephone, exhibitions, online, offline, networking, referrals, joint ventures.
Like any “Marketing Mix”, the pieces involved here can fit together in a variety of different orders depending on 2 key factors:-
1. The sector, i.e. the characters you are aiming to interact with, &
2. The attitude of the Principal – shy & retiring or brash & outgoing, and all the possibilities in between.
There is no question whatsoever that, since Lehman Brothers in 2008, the World has changed, and there’s no going back.
The Internet has been developing at a rapid pace since the turn of the Millennium, and now enables communication and commerce today in a fashion which could not have been anticipated 10 years ago.
The most vital factor to realise is that OUR attitude to transactions has changed irrevocably – in the past we were influenced by the “message”, so Advertising, and those that could directly or indirectly control it, was one of the lynch pins of society – he that could throw enough money at the market could call the shots, and bring in the bucks. Banks, Insurance & Advertising Companies were accepted as foundations of our way of life, largely because they TOLD us what to believe.
Since year 2000 that position has been shifting, and the events of 2008 gave it the final nudge.
The enabling effect of the Web means we are much more in control of “the message” than ever before, largely because we CAN & DO check it out, and challenge it if we want to.
This all means that the way goods and services are brought to market, and consumed, has changed as well. We research online before a purchase. We purchase online in many cases, BUT this is often only lower value items & services, because for larger goods / bigger spends we still prefer to “see the whites of their eyes” meaning that “Meet, Like, Know, Trust” is back as the dominant factor.
This is very much the age of “Digital Media Marketing”, and the approach to that is radically different, not least because it is so much more “Global” in delivery.
Over the last 10 years it has become the norm that, if you are bringing anything to market, you ”must have a website” – your stall in the global marketplace. Now, as that idea has become a reality, maybe even a “new foundation”, there are simply millions and millions of sites. So the question then becomes how do you differentiate yourself from, or “shout louder” in the market than, the others around you?
The answer has finally emerged, to the long lasting benefit of ALL of us, that you must connect & communicate, or “engage”, with your customers and prospects alike, and in doing so provide a higher class of customer service than ever before.
The major advantage that “first movers” are finding in this new territory is that that is NOT just the province of the “big boys”, the corporates, anymore.
Anyone who can master this particular art, and deliver their goods or services reliably and transparently, with the implied back up & support that goes with that delivery, can make a viable niche for themselves, for now & for the future.
So “Interaction leads to Transaction”.
“Twas ever thus” I hear you say – yes, we have come full circle!
Some, smaller, businesses, have operated this way, “offline”, for generations, and may not even need to change, if they’ve already “got it right” in their local community. But the vast majority, of all sizes, are having to adjust to the new times, by rising to the challenge and seeking out new routes to a transaction.
You may notice that I have steadfastly resisted the temptation to use the word “sale” – that still carries the connotation of a one way “thrust” at a “buyer”, so it will eventually become extinct.
The key to all of the new routes to market is that they revolve around “being found”. The words Google and Search Marketing may be virtually synonymous, but the only way to get found is to get involved in “Interactive Marketing” – providing what people are looking for, and engaging with them in the process. The tools to enable this are those that have become known as “Social Media”.
And “Social Media is a Communications process leveraged by Technology” according to Jay Deragon in his recent white paper on Social Media Directions.
How have you communicated with your customers in the past? How will you communicate in the future?
Howard J Moorey
8th December 2009
hojomo group provides coaching, training and insight into Interactive Digital Media Marketing – business development for the future.
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