Those days may be gone forever, but a stroll down memory lane can offer some glimmering truths for today’s digital marketers.
The Reign of the Remote
Why do we choose a certain television channel to watch? Certainly not for the commercials, at least it’s not for me. Like most people, I keep the remote close by or even in-hand while watching my favorite program, ready to mute or fast forward at the first sign of anything that hints at an advertising message. Better yet just opt for channels that don’t have commercials, which are getting to be fewer and fewer every day.
Fans of Quality Programming
Advertising has always been essential for the profitability and growth of television but in the early days, there was almost no division between programming and advertising. The sponsor would be named as part of the show’s introduction, and the host might mention, almost in passing, “… the great folks at (insert sponsor name and a quick benefit and slogan here)” while moving briskly into the next entertaining segment of the show. These sponsor mentions were so well blended into the programming that you almost didn’t know that you were being sold. In fact, viewers would often be left with a good feeling about the advertiser since they were the “good folks” that have made this entertainment possible. Product placement has been making a comeback of sorts recently with some positive results but that is not the point I am making here today.
No, in fact, what I want to talk about are marketing “channels”. These can include your web site, social media, trade shows, events and even individual customer relationships. If you begin to look at these channels in a similar way as early television programmers did you will reveal a great difference in the way many marketers view them. Problems arise when marketers see the primary purpose of these channels solely as advertising mediums, when instead they should see them as “channels” that need competitive programming. Not programming in the sense of television shows but similar in purpose. To look at them as an opportunity to attract, engage and capture the heart of the consumer. Web sites as brochure-ware or simply as an online advertisement for products or services don’t cut it in the real world.
Capturing Hearts, Building Trust
Passions abound with consumers and vary greatly from one customer segment to the next. It is important for marketers to understand their wants, needs, problems, motivations and desires to create engaging interactions that can attract and hold their attention. Consumers want to interact with other humans and having content and messaging that gives them the feeling that they are relating to someone who understands them and appreciates them is important. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways including stories, blogs, videos, online communities or even chat. Plus, with new technology tools that can track consumer preferences and activities marketers can personalize content and automate marketing processes to give customers the feeling that the brand can be trusted.
So take a moment and think about how you are using your marketing channels. Are you getting the kind of engagement that endears your brand to your target segments? If you are not sure give us a shout. We would love to visit with you about your marketing goals.