The title of this blog post and the corresponding talk I gave at the Mainframe event in October is one I have ‘ummed and ‘erred about for a while.
Despite being 100% true, marketing is definitely changing, it always does - marketing is always changing!However the rate of change right now is faster than ever so a combination of changes happening at the same time has resulted in a whole bunch of my marketing industry peers calling this time ‘ the next industrial revolution’ - that’s a little melodramatic for me, if I’m honest but change is certainly happening and will carry on with or without our consent so we best be aware of what's happening and what it means for our businesses at the very least.
I first heard with any conviction, about the changes in marketing back in November 2016 when I spoke at ‘Digital Innovation Summit’ in London . Over those two days I listened to senior marketers from Sony, Unilever, Philips, Sainsbury's, GHD, Yahoo to name a few all talk about how they have had to change the way they market and what they are doing now.
Ever since that point the topic of ‘marketing is changing’ seems to be everywhere I look.
It appears despite the protestations of companies far and wide, our buyers have all the power (yes even if you’re B2B) . We are living in an age where information is commodotised, where a majority of the decision making processes are made without us even being aware let alone being actively involved. Let me give you an example.
Look at the classic car dealership business model. I know people who work at the local Mercedes dealership that have worked there for 15 years or more. They used to have a really simple business. People wanted a car, they would head into the dealership and the sales team would sell them a car … This is not what happens now. Now when people arrive at the showroom they arrive with a exact spec of car they want and how much they can get it for elsewhere - the salesmans job is now to sort the best finance deal out … the experience is very little to do with the product, the car itself.
A similar pattern can be seen across other industries, law, accountancy and marketing.
It’s no longer about what you sell and it's about how they buy it - the age of experiences is here.
The platform and format of marketing is now unimportant - the experiences we create as marketers is what matters..
So how do we create positive customer experiences ?
It’s actually easier than you think - especially with the digital tools we have at our fingertips but lets start with the foundations.
1, You need to understand your customers. A vast majority of businesses I meet in my working life as a marketer do not segment nearly enough. The graphic below shows the type of thing you need to be thinking about when creating buyer personas for your business.
2, You need to understand your customer's journey: This graphic shows 99.9% of businesses out there customer journey - you need to know how each persona from number 1 interacts and what they expect at each stage of this customer journey from awareness to loyalty.
Jeff Bezos , CEO of Amazon says if you have 300 customers you have 300 customer journeys
3, You need to understand your value proposition - This is a statement that shows why your customer should do business.
This is a great example from the good people over at Strategyzer.
With these 3 tools , three things to help you think in a customer centric way. When the people who buy from you have the power like the do right now it’s even more important ot get the right message , to the right people at the right time.
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