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September 17, 2008

Meet your next Marketing Manager... YOU!

In the days of the “Mad Men” marketing was the same as advertising agencies. A marketing firm helped you to frame your message, work out the brand and image you wanted consumers to have about your company / products or services, and then they helped you work out which mediums they would target with your advertising budget.

A little bit of television, radio, maybe a magazine spread or two and a couple of prominent newspaper ads. 

This was a relatively simple formula, requiring short bursts of extreme creativity followed by periodic interruption marketing to the masses; a great way to print cash.
Today, alas (and alack apparently), the world is a vastly different place.

TiVo television audiences can fast forward the ads; most people only read newspapers when they are provided for them, few people buy one as a matter of routine. Why would you, the news if freely available online.

I haven’t read a magazine since a copy of the economist offered me opinions on an election issue that was about three days out of date. No immediacy, and again – anything I want to read is on anyone of the brilliant blogs I subscribe to, or just a Google search away.

Your “message” is based on your sincerity and consistency, (privacy is long dead), your brand is determined by your customers – not by you, and if you do find a way to interrupt them they will ignore you!

If you want to reach your potential clients today will only find their way to you if you are a) what they are looking for, and b) intriguing or extraordinary enough that someone else will mention it to them.

Ever clicked on a banner ad? I don’t. But I do click on Adwords from time to time. Why? Because they’re relevant, they are what I am looking for, or what I’m interested in. Why? Because they appear next to whatever it is I have searched for.

Ever see an ad for Google? I never have, but it dominates my web searching experience.
I have also never seen ads for Seth Godin, Alan Weiss, TechCrunch, Twitter, Guy Kawasaki or LinkedIn.

But these authors, sites and programs make up a lot of my experience of the world these days.

And why would that be? Because I heard about it from sources I trust. And they were intrigued enough to write about them.

Some tips…

Be sincere. Write stuff that you care about. Participate in forums as a colleague, not as a spammer, if you write articles then do so in a way that provides people with the desire to hear more from you.

Don’t be pitching all the time. I have been reading Seth Godins Blog for ages, and Alan Weiss’s also. At no time have I felt pitched to on either. What I feel is an extraordinary interest in what these people are saying, and the real desire to hear more about it.

Find ways to interact. Newsletters, forums, blogs and all manner of permission based approaches. Write sincere copy and send it out to them with the intention of providing value.
Some will stay, some will leave, and some… will tell others.

Be what they are looking for. Well placed Adwords, with the types of key words to ensure that the people who click are those who will hang around or buy. You don’t want to spend a fortune bashing everyone until they submit and purchase, you want them to be looking for something like what you are offering. Self selection is a key!!

There are lots of things you could do to stimulate interest, and maybe I’ll write a post about it soon. But the best thing about the new marketing world order is…its NEW!

Nobody really knows, and your guess is as good as most other peoples! 

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