It is an incredibly exciting time for marketing right now.
The sheer amount – and easy accessibility – of information, data, tools, and collaborative programs make our profession more fun than ever.
We should be rocking out our jobs all day long.
But there’s one pesky fly in the pudding: our customers are harder to market and sell to than ever. They’ve evolved, and we’re scrambling to stay two steps ahead.
The Battle Against the Status Quo
As digital marketers, our world revolves around finding ways to reach, impact and influence our target market.
However, as mentioned above, that has becoming increasingly difficult because of evolved buying habits and preferences.
Jill Konrath, author of “Snap Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers” perceptively states that our competition is not so much other companies who do what we do; our real competition is doing nothing. Competing against the status quo. When you couple that with the amount of noise, distractions, and busy-ness out there, it’s no wonder that digital marketers have a big challenge to rise against.
As a digital marketer who specializes and advocates for SEO, this is especially close to my heart as many others continue to try and declare SEO dead.
Back when, here was the typical path to SEO success: you optimize your site, you rank, you get found, and your customer bought immediately. You pat yourself on the back and call it a day. While of course the heyday of easy SEO as the be-all end-all marketing tactic is gone, savvy marketers know that search is still a critical channel, and part of the digital marketing mix.
So we know SEO has evolved…marketing as a discipline has evolved…and our buyer has evolved even more.
Here is an excerpt from a recent blog post detailing the experience and search pattern of a modern buyer in the market for furniture:
- First she went to Pinterest to find inspiration using keywords like “loft decorations” and then narrowed down to specific pieces of furniture.
- Next she went directly to Amazon, where she searched with keywords based on the rustic furniture she liked on Pinterest. She wasn’t overly thrilled at the results.
- Then she moved on to Ebay where she could find cheaper, secondhand furniture there. Still didn’t like what she found.
- Finally she landed on Etsy, where she purchased all furniture (subsequently breaking the author’s bank account).
What’s incredible about this, is that she completely bypassed Google. Google was an extra step she didn’t want to spend time on.
Digital Marketing Case Study: Getting Off Auto-Pilot
“It sounds absolutely silly, but think of all the companies where marketing is on auto-pilot (doing the same thing year-after-year with 3% increase in budget).” – Avinash Kaushik
My ears are always perk up when I hear other people sharing what has worked for them.
I heard a great webinar recently, presented by Anna Wilmoth, the Marketing Director of Gryphon House. Anna talked about 2 ways they’ve evolved in order to stay relevant and appeal to the modern buyer.
- Redefining their website: Through extensive research, focus groups, and conversations, discovered that their audience of teachers wanted resources they could take and use immediately. That they were strapped for time and they wanted to be able to take, download and print material they could use in their classrooms. So Anna lead her team redefined and redesigned the website to give great content first.
- Content marketing and blogging: Previously, Gryphon House’s blog used to be an external site. Then they fully integrated it into their site, which became a powerful tool for reading people’s minds in Google search. They did more research to learn what the market in early childhood was looking for, what they were googling, what problems they were trying to solve, and then Anna and her team developed web resources that spoke to those problems and offered solutions.
So we know our customers have changed. How has your marketing mix changed to keep up? Are you, and your team, stuck in the status quo of doing things the way you’ve always done them? Share in the comments and good karma will come your way.