Let’s start by explaining one thing: I’m not your ordinary marketer.
First of all, traditional marketing meant sales and that lead to pushy advertising, which we all tuned out when we could fast-forward through commercials on our DVRs. Advertising propaganda was all about convincing people of something to get them to purchase. It got to be a bit slimy, which is most of us tune out advertising or hit our fast-forward button on our DVR remote control when we can. Don’t you?
Well, things have changed –thank goodness.
Marketing in the Market
I tried looking up the word marketing and it said that it was about taking goods to the market and making them appealing for sale. Logical, yes, because you had to ready things to make them appealing when you went to the market to sell. This means marketing was about people, specifically having what you were selling be appealing to the people who would walk by. But that’s not what marketing or sales were like ten years ago because adverting crossed your path even when you didn’t go to the market, such as television or radio commercials, and those commercials were about getting you to think you had to have what was being sold in order to be like the beautiful person in the advertisement. For a long time sales were no longer about an individual’s experience, but rather about what market surveys dictated would make you feel a certain way. Advertising had been a one-way street offering no communication except the advertised message. In other words, the people, the personal interaction and the communication and connection with another persons at the market, had been forgotten. An inability to complain about a bad experience or to even ask a question of an ad turned advertising into heavy propaganda for some time. But now the tides have turned and we, the consumers, have a billion voices just on Facebook.
Your Number One Ingredient: People
Fast forward to the age of the internet and social media- today, marketing has been revolutionized. Propaganda, which was so disconnected from the consumer, has predominantly been replaced with people, with what is familiar and with communities. A personal touch is now required because someone has to create updates to post, someone has to blog for a business. the writing must be done in such a way that the business is presented as a unique provider of an offering so that interested people will become followers, seeking out further written content. This is a wonderful thing because, as consumers, we like to know there is a human behind the register. We like feeling like we can ask a question or speak up and be heard when our purchasing experience wasn’t what it should be or to give praise when it was grand. We like being human and interacting.
Who Are You At The Market?
Social media and inbound marketing are a gift to any of us who would actually appreciate being marketed to the right way. Yes, there are many of us who would welcome and invite marketing messages- and this is what happens on social media sites all of the time when people choose keep tumbling into or being tweeted at by a business. Take Pinterest, for example. There are 48.7 million users on Pinterest (many of which are women) looking to shop: for their dream vacation, for a great outfit, jewelry and to see wonderful and appealing things. Yes, these 48.7 million (source: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/ people are looking for something to follow, see about and learn about – like a businesses’ offerings.
Ten years ago, if you had told a business owner that in ten years people would invite receiving updates about the business all of the time, they would have thought you were delusional, but here we are today!
Social media stands for the opposite of propaganda, as most followers are looking for authentic, people-oriented marketing campaigns. By the definition I’m giving you here, authentic marketing is about you, as a business, being the business you are and offering your great products and services to benefit others. Why would there be a need to change how your customers think?
Authentic marketing is just about what you wear to the market. It is about putting your businesses’ best foot forward so that you know how to express and show the best of what your business offers. This can’t not appeal to others- there are always people who want to eat at your restaurant, buy your clothes, experience your classes- the problem isn’t getting those who don’t want your burgers to decide they want burgers, they’ll never become loyal fans who tell their friends about you. The task at hand is just about finding those who love burgers to know that you offer the best burgers. Once they experience your burgers and your restaurant, they’ll come back often and bring other burger-eaters with them.
That’s marketing. It is knowing how to show up well and how to be human. Social media allows businesses to show up daily – more often than was thought possible ten years ago, save a website- and to tell the story of what the business offes and why the right people will love it. Inbound marketing allows businesses to let burger-fans come to them via as many blogs as the business chooses to put forward and as many updates they like, making everything they offer attractive and inviting.