The New Rules for Marketing
What works today is very different from what worked a decade or more ago.
If you think of Marketing as the same as it was twenty (or even ten) years ago, you are definitely thinking in the wrong direction! The reason is simple. What works today is almost the opposite of what worked in the past.
The Old Rules
Here are the rules for marketing that have been taught, over the years, in most businesses and business courses, and are common inside many companies even today (many of whom are struggling):
- Step 1. Create a product that has a broad appeal to a large number of consumers or buyers.
- Step 2. Reach as large an audience as possible with a message that appeals to many of those potential buyers.
- Step 3. Create a recognisable brand name that can be extended into additional product categories.
While it’s true that many companies following these rules have, in the past, been able to build strong, global brands (like Sony and Coca Cola), this type of “broadcast marketing” no longer works in the way that it did because:
- The Internet and wealth of media channels and outlets has fragmented consumers and buyers into ever smaller groups, each with its own characteristics and interests.
- Messages that appeal to those consumers and buyer must be highly customised and specific in order to gain any attention.
- The proliferation of generic brand types and brand messages has become so overwhelming that consumer and buyers can now choose simply to tune them out.
In other words, what worked for some well-established and traditional big brands may not necessarily work for you today.
The New Rules
Here’s what many smarter and newer companies have found really DOES work for them:
- Step 1. Model your product or service to address the needs of specific types of consumers and buyers.
- Step 2. Target your initial messaging at that audience in order to “convert” them firstly into customers, and then engage with them in such a way that they become your advocates.
- Step 3. Continue to engage with them – encourage these advocates to help define your brand name and the future of your offerings.
Note that this is the exact opposite of what worked for many companies in the past.
Where the old rules centred on “broadcast” and used various forms of mass media, the new rules are “narrowcast” and use highly targeted media.
Where the old rules were all about reaching the masses, the new rules are all about reaching smaller groups of individuals. The really smart business will develop multiple niches, each benefiting from the “narrowcast” approach.
Where the old rules put companies in charge of the brand and its destiny, the new rules put that control, and its inherent power, in the hands of customers. Adapt your approach to Marketing to make sure their voice is the one you and your potential clients want to hear.