Our philosophy on marketing in the digital world is that you have to develop trust with potential users in order to alleviate fear, position yourself as an ally for potential customers and ultimately lay a foundation where the customer is ready, willing and able to use your services.
While you hear a cacophony of buzzwords, in reality, the basic principles of selling still exist. In fact, they are more prevalent and available now than ever before. Digital marketing efforts are simply the ongoing conversation between our brands and our customers. Whether it is an ad or an email or an optimized website, we are having a conversation with the customer and everything stems from this: What is the customer thinking when they see this? How are we helping the user? How are we persuading the user to act?
Key in this process, and I think very exciting, is the website, specifically the technology that is helping websites become more proactive to customers rather than reactive. Traditionally, we think of marketing websites as static – digital collateral material or a digital catalog. However, websites are becoming more active and more adaptable to where a consumer/user is in the buying process. This is really cool stuff. Instead of just shouting “BUY OUR STUFF NOW!” we can say “Hey, how are you? What are your interests? What are your habits?” and then develop a relationship with our customer, gaining their trust and loyalty and in return capturing more of their spending dollar. Technology is facilitating this conversation in new and exciting ways.
We can have a conversation with our users/customers/advocates/influencers now more easily than ever. The message can be bent to the medium, and the medium can adopt to the message. Both message and medium have a flexibility and ease of use that allow it to be tailored specifically to multiple parties and allow the conversation to happen more freely. Specifically, landing pages can be generated based on customer activity; content can be pushed based on where an Internet user is in the sales process; and coming, the blend of both the physical and digital user can allow for seamless engagement with a customer in the sales process regardless of device, location or relationship.
However, engaging in this conversation requires more than ever before. No longer do gimmicks and cheap tricks work. In order to be effective, you need both quality and quantity. Quality in the sense that your brand’s voice must clearly say “trust us,” and this trust means that the content must be timely, relevant and engaging. This is no small task. However, even more than that, the content must reach multiple participants in multiple stages of the buying process and be curated for multiple media channels, which means that an abundance of content is necessary.