What you can do now to thrive in the new economy…
If this has caught your attention it’s because we’re discussing Connection Marketing.
What is Connection Marketing?
In this article, I’ll go into an overview of what Connection Marketing is, and what you can do NOW to thrive in these new economic times.
Connection Marketing: What is it?
My definition of ‘marketing’ is the communication between a business and a consumer. A ‘consumer’ is a potential customer; also know as a prospect. Any type of communication between the business and the consumer – whether it be through a video, through an ad, through a brochure – is what I consider ‘marketing’.
‘Connection’ means that the exchanges that take place, between business and consumer, do so in a friendly and humane manner. The interaction is from one person to another; NOT from a corporation trying to jam something down your throat.
A quick back story
The industrial economy brought us the television. The T.V. allowed us to market our products and services to the masses. In order to reach the general population, companies needed to create average products and services.
This is in the traditional marketing sense. It’s the traditional way of doing things.
Back then, we used to buy things that we NEEDED. As long as a company created a product that filled a NEED, they’d be able to advertise it – traditionally – and make money. But what happened is they started making bland and regular products so they could sell as many as possible to the masses.
The internet has changed everything. It has made it possible to reach the most unique groups of people. The mass market has been dissolved – we no longer buy what we NEED, we buy what we WANT. And that means that businesses can now thrive by creating unique products, to unique segments of the population. This is where connection marketing comes in.
Since people buy what they WANT (they already have everything they NEED), we should ask ourselves what that is. We don’t need to create something super bland and uniform, and we don’t have to worry about selling a bazillion units to average people. All of a sudden you can make niche products; very unique products, to niche crowds.
For the past 100 years here’s how I’ve seen the promotion of a product or service – the ‘marketing’. For the past 100 years, it’s been:
Annoying: You ever watch a T.V. show, and every commercial timeout you see runs the same ad? Whether it be for Pizza Pops or Cadillac cars, they are very annoying and repetitive.
Repetitive: They hope it burns into your brain, so that when you see it, you feel compelled to purchase it.
Interruptive: When you’re looking for information you visit a blog. Within the first second you’re bombarded by pop-ups, asking for your e-mail address so they can send you something great. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for that, but give me a chance to read the headline!
Exaggerative: The best example I can use for this is when you go to a fast food restaurant. How good does that burger look when it’s up on the billboard, or on posters? Of course when you get it, it looks NOTHING like advertised…
Here’s how I see the next 100 years of promotion for a product or service – or the next 100 years of ‘marketing’:
Relevant: Because we’re selling unique products to unique people, all of a sudden we don’t have to advertise our stuff absolutely everywhere. Only those people who have shown an interest or may have looked at something like this in the past, will see our ads or marketing, therefore making it relevant to them.
Subtle: Imagine if you’re someone who loves books, but everywhere you look you see ads for sneakers… That not very subtle, and you’d notice that right away since it’s not very appealing to you.
Anticipated: This is especially true when it comes to e-mail correspondence. Most companies now collect e-mails (which is understandable). The problem is that you get the same 6 e-mails a day, containing promotion notices, sales, and early-bird specials whether you want them or not. Because these messages are not anticipated, it is the MAJOR factor that makes a person decide to ‘opt-out’. In the future, these anticipated messages (also being relevant) will see much better open rates. Also, a person only gets the information they agree to receive.
Honest: This may sound trivial, but a very important example is pricing an item at 49.99$. “Who are you kidding?” “Call it like it is!” You’ll never see two people at a party with the following exchange: “Nice shoes… how much did you pay?” “I paid 49.99$” Your marketing message should be from one person to another.