There are countless ways to grab the attention of your audience, but keeping them coming back for more is where the real value lies—it’s where you build influence. Mom bloggers are a good example of this. Those who developed the greatest influence did so with good content—and kept their audiences engaged by producing more of it. But just because they were moms and their audiences were moms didn’t make them influential. It was the quality of the content they produced that resonated with a particular audience.
One of the biggest trends I’ve seen in 2016 is that more marketers have decided to stop talking past their customers, and start talking to them. It’s what I like to call “Looking People in the Eye Digitally,” and it’s great to see people embracing the concept. That’s the good news. On the other side of the ledger, the brands that have embraced personal, relationship-focused marketing present a stark contrast to the many that are still locked into the old, impersonal status quo. Industry-wide change takes time, when it happens at all, but your business doesn’t have to wait for the rest of the industry to catch up.
The path to purchase is not just evolving – it has evolved. How are brands responding? I sat down with long-time friend and business partner John Andrews, for a live stream discussion on the path to purchase, the evolution of retail, and even some inside insights on our Amazon purchasing habits (spoiler alert: John’s a big fan of peanut butter).
For years companies have been trying to find ways of using social media to promote their businesses, but have been tamping down on the social asset that’s right under their noses: their employees. You can’t ask an employee to be a true advocate for your business on social if you forbid them from accessing their personal profiles at work. Nor can you expect them to be advocates without the proper knowledge of how to “be” social in their own right.
Focusing on the user experience rather than worrying solely about conversion rates shouldn’t be a novel idea, but too often the numbers take precedence over how we reach them.
That old, moss-covered wall between sales and marketing in the brick-and-mortar world has been showing its age for a long time now. It’s great to see that the wrecking balls are on-site, and they’re clearing the way for the type of collaboration that has long defined online marketing and sales. Major brands have plenty of brainpower on both sides of the equation, and it makes little sense to keep them sequestered from one another.
Things ARE changing. Traditional advertising certainly isn’t extinct, but there is simply too much noise out there, and people are sick of it. They’re shutting out the blast advertising that has crept into every aspect of their lives and centering in on the things they truly care about—friends, family, personal interests and need, and social connections. You need to take a step back and study this shift in order to take advantage of it.
Social Selling Isn’t About Selling
If there’s one marketing mantra that will always be true for businesses, it’s “Know Your Customer.”
Whether you sell shoes, dry cleaning services, computer software or multi-million-dollar widgets, that’s the one maxim that will never change, no matter what happens to society in the future. It’s the one thing marketers and salespeople alike need to master—because you’re not going to turn a prospect into a buyer without both of you knowing that prospect inside and out.
Anyone who knows me knows I am all about the power of relationships. Every once in a while, something unexpected happens that seems almost too good to be true.
So two months and 53,000 YouTube views ago, I had no idea something this unpredictable would happen….
Over the course of 5 episodes, we’ve:
- trampled on a Chipotle campaign,
- discussed when to (and when NOT to) use humor in branding and how James Corden gets it right
- clarified the liability of cliches and a closely guarded branding secret
- crystallized how a new retail brand is crushing it (with $225 million in sales) in a $40 billion category, and
- unveiled how GEICO, Oreo and Old Spice use 2 rules that help convert commodities into a must-have brands.
I am talking about this new collaboration I am super pumped over: The David and Ted Talk Show.