Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Fundamental Change

Currently the marketing, PR and advertising world is experiencing one of the most dramatic evolutions over the past 100 - 200 years in what traditionally were “tried and true” methods.

I am not sure too many people and professionals fully understand this. I deal with many companies, CEO’s and CMO’s on a daily basis and across the board there seems to be some level of awkwardness and discomfort with the rapid changes.

Over the past 100 to 200 years there have been very workable and fundamental ideas related to how marketing, PR and advertising basically worked and reached a specific audience. There were specific rules and methods to execute strategies that had workable formulas such as positioning, how to write ad copy, how to grab attention via posters, billboards and TV commercials etc. Basic marketing fundamentals like what the typical percent of response will be from a marketing campaign via direct mail, etc.

While all these methodologies worked extremely well all the way up to close to now, unbelievably.... they no longer do. These methods and ideas have run their course and have essentially gone through the stages of infancy from the beginning idea to maturity to dated and now obsolete. It’s incredible to even think about and seasoned professionals clearly seem uncomfortable about it. Speaking to an experienced CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) who wants to still work off of, and hang on to, these old ideas can be rather frustrating as they try to apply something that is obsolete to a new way of thinking.

So what is relevant?

With New Media (social media, etc.) the way to communicate and engage an audience is different. It’s a conversation. It’s on-going and most of how the audience wants to be reached or is receptive to is being decided by the audience - not the marketing, advertising or PR firm. This is a very authentic and transparent approach. We aren’t trying to “spin” a story, we aren’t trying to scream a message and button at the audience to get a response and we aren’t trying to have the audience see a message 7-9 times so they will “act” So what are we trying to do?

We are focused on using new media tools (social media) as a platform to communicate with a specific target audience geared toward your company and use PR to build relations (relationships) with that target audience in order to spark conversations, increase word of mouth, generate buzz and result in interest and reach for the companies’ products or services via acceptance from that target audience.

We are authentically reaching out to get involved with the audience and make a company known to them to build awareness, brand loyalty and stay on the target audiences radar to in turn increase the sales and revenue.

I am sure you would agree that people are more inclined to do business with companies they:

  1. Know
  2. Like
  3. Feel Comfortable With
  4. Trust
  5. Have a Relationship

Think this through for a second; think of a company you do business with or a person you do business with and then think about why? I am betting it’s because you know them or have a relationship with them or you personally like them or trust them. These ideas are the very essence of why new media (social media) is so powerful. It aligns with the basic way people buy and how sales typically occur.

Now I am not at all talking about spamming people on social media sites or being the “salesperson” that annoys everyone on Facebook! The idea here is to make it natural and in a PR way encompasses engagement, conversations, building new connections, making yourself known and ultimately building real relationships from a given target audience that is desirable to your company that will result in interest in reach for the company and therefore sales and revenue.

It’s not easy. It takes time and knowhow, but, when done correctly, it’s the most effective strategy you, or your company, could possibly apply in today’s market - just ask the audience!