I’ve been in the advertising business for more than 40 years. Never before have we seen such proliferation of information, story sharing, and multi-media. It feeds the way we think, purchase, work, and even how we treat one another. But how much of it is original, true or even trustworthy. We call it content marketing! Is it a business building tool? An asset to our marketing arsenal? Or a necessary evil to be seen as “in the game?”
It’s easy to spend hours a day reading and viewing content. Some don’t know what to make of it but they are nonetheless in the mix. The daily flow can be overwhelming. Maybe it’s the “junk food” of the 21st century. Or, maybe more like a daily vitamin.
With virtually everyone ingesting information on the web every day, I wonder just how many are making something with that content. Today, 1%% (just 1%) of the people on the web are CREATORS. These are the people who dream, who invent, who dare to step back (off the web, yes, off the web). They read material to draw inspiration out. And then, they create.
Over the last near two years, we’ve all been tucked away in private safe havens —in front of our computers or smartphones. It has afforded us platforms to meet more people; new influencers from further away. And provided us with learning, research, data, and ease of commerce.
So, what’s missing then?
A true human voice —that is accessible, friendly, even vulnerable. A voice and tone to customer interaction is impactful to your brand value —even more than colors and a logo. Today, more than ever, the PERSONAL BRAND IS THE BRAND. This is exciting! Once you consider this, you get closer to what IS YOUR BRAND, creating an EMOTIONAL connection between what you do and your customers or potential customers.
Great brands are your “buddy”. We assess companies like we do a person or friend. Are they warm? Competent? Fun? Funny? Do they really care? Being a company that gets to know YOU and treats you like a friend, brings authenticity and truth to their unique brand. And builds trust. This is what will win lasting favor going forward. Not sales, coupons or two-fers!
This is why we need to move beyond this protected landscape of communication brought on by the pandemic — and back to in-person togetherness. To the extent that we can get “out there” and connect in a HUMAN WAY instead of over a scripted delivery, I think that’s what is really going to succeed today.
Right now, small and medium-sized companies have an advantage —they can more easily know their customers and they are nimble. First, make sure you have great product(s) and are priced competitively. Those are your tickets-to-play. Then, think: “how can I DEMONSTRATE I am your friend, your buddy and that I care?”
Consider this; Today, 15% of American consumers will change brands if it is cleaner or a more sanitary environment. This holds true for a bank, salon, or photo studio just as much as a school or restaurant.
Do not look back prior to March 2020 to understand your customer. Get to know them all over again. Reconnect and listen! The content you learn from knowing your customers will help you create success together—again and again.
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