Are you marketing to consumers — or to your fellow marketers? It might seem like an obvious question, at least superficially. Yet if you look deeper into how your multi-channel marketing services are designed and executed, and how your agency chooses to operate, you might find that the answer isn’t as cut-and-dried as you think.
Avoiding marketing groupthink
The marketing industry tends to be highly trend-driven. If an agency implements a new solution or develops a fresh approach, its competitors often feel the need to follow this lead. The idea of being left behind, or being perceived as behind the knowledge curve, is enough to compel them into action.
Yet as a recent column in AdWeek points out, this behavior often becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, with agencies chasing fads and trends in an ever-escalating arms race. They become so concerned about the competition that they lose sight of who truly matters: buyers.
As AdWeek points out, the birth of the Internet and the proliferation of multi-channel marketing services created incredible new opportunities for marketers. Consumers, for the first time, could research a vast array of projects on a mass scale, creating a new buyer category: inbound prospects.
CRM platforms were soon developed, ultimately becoming an essential operational cornerstone. Now, consumers could be categorized, tracked and guided down the sales funnel with precision, and data could be gathered to measure the efficacy of various techniques and tactics.
While the emergence of this new technology offered wonderful opportunities, it also had unintended side effects. Communication between brands and buyers became mediated by multi-channel marketing technology.
In many cases, this went too far. Marketers attempted to over-digitize the buyer’s journey instead of integrating human interaction within technology. Marketers also began to place too much faith in metrics that offered too little visibility into what consumers were really feeling, and what their true intentions were.
Agencies began relying too heavily on these metrics to measure performance, leading to an epidemic of vanity metrics that say more about an agency’s need for self-justification rather than its true real-world impact.
Instead of personalized and targeted marketing infused with human interactions, buyers were given a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t serve their interests.
Finding a better path
So how do marketers opt out of the arms race and refocus on what really matters? Step one would be to join forces with a multi-channel marketing services agency. From there, AdWeek suggests de-emphasizing industry data benchmarks in favor of deeper intelligence gathering on buyers. The idea is simple: Develop more actionable insight into the people who are buying your products and services today, and use this information to refine your approach.
Do the following. It’s important.
1.Realize that the sales funnel is not a perfect concept. If your approach is too inflexible, it’s likely suboptimal. Don’t treat buyers like they are all the same.
2. Ensure you’re marketing to buyers, not other marketers. Having another marketing agency think your idea is clever will be small consolation if it doesn’t resonate with buyers.
3. Don’t allow automation to quash authenticity. Yes, automation has many benefits. Yet it shouldn’t be allowed to de-emphasize human interactions.
4. Listen to what buyers are asking for and offer them customized solutions.
At BIGEYE, we’re firm believers in the power of technology. Yet we’ll never follow empty trends or allow software to replace the human element. In order to provide truly great marketing, the digital and the personal need to be integrated through well strategized multi-channel marketing services.
If you’d like to hear more, please visit our website for more information.Back to Thinking