Mary Allard, Director of Marketing Strategy at Porter Consulting
As I was sitting in the audience of a leading technology company’s annual customer event, I could feel the interest and enthusiasm radiating from the customers. The company is at the forefront of their marketplace, enjoying high degrees of loyalty from their customer base. Those that know them love them. And therein lays the problem:
Not enough people know them.
During the final executive Q&A session, customers lined up to participate. After a number of technology- and business-related questions, one customer approached the mic and asked, “Why don’t we ever see you in the press? Why aren’t you more visible? What’s your plan?” The company’s top marketing executive stood up and replied, “We don’t have the big budgets that would support big programs.”
WRONG ANSWER…So the wrong answer.
The game has moved. A big ad budget—and its accompanying bragging right—is no longer where that game is played. The rules of marketing, advertising and PR have changed forever. No longer is a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad the crown jewel. No longer is it sufficient to target big media outlets with PR spin.
Marketing is no longer a one-way “interruptive” process.
Social media has delivered tremendous power into the hands of consumers—all consumers. Some industry gurus say that the social media phenomenon is akin to the invention of the printing press in its impact on the world.
Smart companies are reaching out to individual consumers and engaging them directly and precisely. Broad-brush communications campaigns are being replaced by smaller, more nimble programs more effectively targeting the specific interests of specific audiences. Social media, viral marketing, mobile apps and blogs are rapidly crowding out traditional advertising, brochures, and trade shows.
The new world isn’t about positioning and spin. It’s about delivering important content that is critical, appropriate and timely. It isn’t about shouting about your products and services. It’s about fundamentally understanding the needs of your customers and speaking directly to them.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences relating to social media and the PR/Marketing cosmic shift it’s caused in your business. Email me at m.allard(at)porterconsulting(dot)net.
Mary Allard writes about marketing and brand strategy. She particularly focuses on trending topics and best practices. You can find more blogs and content from Mary atwww.porterconsulting.net. Porter Consulting is a marketing services consulting company who can you help you grow revenue.