Inauthentic Brands will Fail Contradictory Consumers
"Consumers’ experiences with COVID-19 will redefine how they behave, consume, and engage with brands as the economic and social crisis peaks in early 2021. They will want to support values like the environment, local community, and gender equality, but most will have to prioritise price. Consumers will feel frustrated, mistrustful, and disappointed, and they’ll exhibit contradictory behaviour."
So what do they mean by this?
Your buyers are looking for you to be human. They are not looking for some conservative, "buy my product, because it's great" messaging. The way your brand and your people act, has to be human.
We are not looking to be interrupted by corporations by advertising, cold calling or email. Bizarrely, when I downloaded this report from Forrester, within 10 minutes I had some sales person, (let's not forget that salespeople are the "enemy",) emailing me, asking if I needed any help. I, of course, just deleted the email, as does everybody else.
(It does make you wonder why a business is telling people that "Inauthentic Brands will Fail Contradictory Consumers" and they are then inauthentic. Welcome to Digital marketing, I guess.)
Why Paid Media No Longer Cuts It
If you are still buying paid media, you really need to take a look at how you can get better value for your money.
"Take for instance P&G cutting $200 million in digital ad spending, and seeing no decrease in business activity. In fact, during the same timeframe, “Jon Moeller, P&G's chief financial officer, said the reduction in ad spending obviously didn’t hurt the company’s performance in the recent fiscal year because sales increased, up 1% from the previous year [and] organic sales grew 5%.”
P&G saved another $750 million by 1) slashing its agency roster by 50% (CNBC), 2) reducing the complexity and number of adtech middlemen in the programmatic supply chain through in-housing (FT), and 3) increasing price transparency and accountability by buying from vendors directly and avoiding undisclosed mark-ups by agencies. Of course not every marketer can save a billion dollars like P&G did, but marketers of all sizes can find and cut unnecessary costs. Here are a few to start with."
Traditional Marketing is Based on Waste
Traditional marketing is based on waste. The diagram on the left shows how marketing creates bland content, white papers, paid media etc to try and appeal to as many people as they can. Normally, this is about collecting emails, which they then market to by sending email newsletters. The problem with all push / interruption marketing is that you are all part of the noise.
You can have the best copy in the work, you can have the best photography in the world, you can have the best marketing agency or advertising agency in the world. The problem is, you are just one of the 10,000 messages I receive every day.
People often call this the "attention economy" because we are all vying for people's attention.
But We Have a Brand Tim
(And let's not forget your Marketing agency will try to convince you to spend money in this area, they have, after all, a vested interest. Your money).
You cannot spend enough in paid media for me to ever spot your company over the noise.
It was Robert Stephens of Geek Squad who said "I believe advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable."
When he was referring to advertising, I would suspect he was referring to any paid media.
"Buy My Product Because it's Great"
The other problem is that people go to market with the message "buy my product because it's great" and they merge into a sea of sameness.
I worked in the world of accountancy software, where all the competitors marketed the products exactly the same. I recall at my last company, we had a new starter from a competitor and we got them to pitch a first meeting and it was exactly the same message and presentation as our first meeting, even down to the unique selling points (USPs). Here are two companies in the world of accounting with $billions of resources with the same go-to-market, the same messages and the same USPs.
But There is Good News
The only unique selling point you have today are your people, their experiences, their skills and what you do is empower them to talk on social. Why? Because your prospects and clients are there.
Worldwide social media users: 4.14 billion - 53% of the world's population use social media in other words, more people use social media than don't use it.
Simon says that "two thirds of the working population in the world is now active on social media."
How much research do you need to convince you?
Your Prospects and Clients Are On Social
Your prospects and clients are on social and they don't want to talk with salespeople, we actively keep away from them and unless you are Nike, Levis, BMW, they don't want a relationship with you as a business.
Relationships are after all, with other people.
A CEO Just Said to Me
"there is a race on. First we need to shock people into understanding that the world has changed. Second, we need to give them the skills to work in the changing world."
He went onto say "By giving my team(s) “new world” skills will gives us a competitive advantage."
Interesting that he finished by saying
"The thing is there is a “burning bridge” and we need to make sure we are over that bridge."
Who's Doing This?
Case Study 1.
Eric's post of his 16 year old son on his Birthday got 8,000 views and 165 likes?
But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post? How?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.
He doesn't always post humanised content, I'm using this as an example. But an example of why you need to get your employees on social, it has a $ impact to your business.
How does Eric do this? He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage. Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out. If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time? Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?
The Microsoft Azure sales team actively use this as part of their sales strategy on accounts. They find "changemakers" who will take this insight and share within their businesses. This is how businesses are actively engaging with and influencing business and sales.
This is something that your competition haven't understood is key.
Case Study 2
In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social. The ROI (return on investment)? Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets. She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
Faced with the pandemic and under the relentless pressure of customers’ new realities, the future came into focus: The value of your company depends on how customer-obsessed, resilient, creative, and adaptive you are in jumping to the next growth curve in your industry. Much of your success will depend on how quickly and how well you harness technology to build platforms that differentiate your business and help your people do their best work — wherever they are.