3 Rules for Navigating the Marketing Jungle
The goal of the modern marketer is to cut through all the noise in today’s society and draw customers to their marketplace, be that a physical shop or an online store. The truth is, society is just larger and more complex than it used to be, when all you needed was to show up at the right market at the right time with a personable manner and reasonably-priced, good-quality merchandise to make a sale.
Here are some new principles that can help cut through the confusion and make it easier for good customers to find their way through the marketing maze to your store or website:
Beat the drum constantly. The drum is a simple, clear, repeated callout telling the world what you have to offer. “Books! Books! Books!” or “Cyber-security Software. Cyber-security Software. Cyber-security Software.” The fundamental message whenever uncountable numbers of marketers are making noise around you is to make sure it’s clear what you sell.
For example, if the owner of a plumbing service handed you a business card that said Crossfire Mechanical, you may ask, “What do you do? “Repair army vehicles in war zones?” Posting any marketing message under that name isn’t going to help much if he wants to attract more plumbing business in your hometown, where you likely don’t have to fix anything under crossfire conditions. The name may be cool, but it violates the fundamental principle of telling the world what you do, clearly and often, to help people find you through the noise of other marketers.
Be better than a local business, because there are no local businesses anymore. Local and regional markets do still exist, but they are, like accents, on the way to being a quaint thing of the past. Customers everywhere feel connected to a national and even a global marketplace, and people now tend to bring national standards of quality to their local shopping. If your service or product is substandard, your customers will find a way to reach out into the global marketplace and buy a substitute.
Preempt this exit of the local market by being appealing enough to make buying local into the best option (again). A local business has certain advantages, including convenience of location and easy visibility. But these advantages can no longer be relied upon to outweigh poor selection, sloppy presentation, unprofessional service, or other substandard elements of performance.
Emphasize personal relations and word of mouth. The oldest marketing tools, paradoxically, are emerging as the newest and best. Why? Because, when markets are more complex and hard to navigate, people ask for advice, and their associates, friends, or families tell them who to try and who to trust.
The social media are an integrated part of this word-of-mouth resurgence, but not the cause of it. The cause is the impenetrable jungle of options across the region and the web. Be a social marketer, both in person and on social media sites, and encourage referrals (through requests, recognition, and/or rewards). Social networks cut through the confusion of the marketing jungle far better than any other tool.