Marketing is not an exact science, and throughout the years it has changed a lot, not because the professionals wanted, but because the costumers are becoming different year after year.
When we look at the way companies did their marketing thirty or forty years ago, we see how “easy” it was to convince the customer that their product was a real necessity and it was also the best choice available in the market. They saw a commercial on the television saying that a particular type of product was the best of all times, and the people who saw it, truly believed it was. Of course, I may have dramatized the situation a little (or not), but the truth is that in the last decades the costumer was much more naive than it is today.
If a new company launches their marketing campaign with the main focus on the theme “our product is the best”, I bet that they wouldn’t last a full year (maybe I’m dramatizing again but you get the point).
Costumers don’t believe what companies say anymore. They need more than a lovely speech from them saying they are the best; they need to feel that the company is not selling. Today, companies can’t just sell their products; they have to communicate to attract the customer, and here is where it comes to the Art of “No Marketing”.
Let’s be honest. No one will buy a product today just because a company says so, even if we are looking for that specific product, we’re not buying from the company that is telling us to buy it. It’s important not to force the customer to buy. If we are the best, they will buy, there is no need to push the situation.
Companies need to start not treating customers like just one more number, if they communicate to their customers the right way, they will more likely buy your product. Salesforce shows us a fantastic study where we can see that 84% of costumers say that being treated like a person is significant when choosing the brand they will buy.
By not directly selling the product, companies are slowly building a relationship with the customers, which is much more important than just one sell. This potential relationship between a company and the customer can bring a lot of business in the future, because the first step to gain loyalty is to build a relationship without ever forcing the sell. As I said in my previous article (Covid 19: An Opportunity to Improve Costumer’s Loyalty), loyalty is one of the most challenging behaviours to earn nowadays.
There are several ways for your company not to make these mistakes, one of them, and probably the most important, is to turn your costumers into the best “employees” of the company. Still, I’m getting ahead of myself, as we’ll discuss this particular subject later in the article.
However, to do so, you have to be different, your name has to be everywhere, your customers must know you because nothing of what I said earlier can happen if nobody knows your company. But how can you be known without selling your products? The answer is easy, Be Remarkable.
Just selling isn’t enough. Having great products isn’t enough, especially if you are starting a new company. An excellent way to put your name on the market is by creating unbelievable marketing campaigns, using, of course, the tip I wrote above, Do Not Sell!
The Power of Events.
Before COVID-19, I would probably say that events were a great choice to do this kind of campaigns because if you do it right, your event can definitely boost your brand. This way, they would feel that your company is thinking of its customer’s happiness, offering them a great day. Another way to make these events a great marketing campaign is by creating several “social media moments”. Which means encouraging people in the event to take pictures of the activities (specifically made to be a good “social media content”) and publishing it on their social media, this way the event would be viral.
When companies base their marketing in content created by their customers, the click-through-rate is four times higher. Big difference, right? But unfortunately, we don’t expect that this kind of events can exist any time soon, so we have to think about what we can do with what we have, which is a brand-new digital world.
Being Remarkable – Examples.
The digital world is not a significant part of our lives and businesses only since the COVID19, it’s been here for the last few years, but with the lack of many outside resources, during this pandemic, the digital has grown even more. Hence, companies have to take advantage of this to do the “remarkable marketing campaign”.
As Mark Schaefer genially stated in his new book “Marketing Rebellion”, companies have to be fans of their fans and to show us that, he gives an extraordinary example, a video of the outdoor outfitter The North Face – Question Madness. In this video, the company talks about the extreme sports that many of their customers practice, and makes the video in a way that explains why they do it, because this kind of sports can actually kill them. So, sometimes it is hard for them to explain to their loved ones the reasons.
By doing this video, the company is creating a sense of belonging in their costumer’s mind, it’s showing them that they know why they do extreme life-threatening sports, and from a marketing point of view, it’s brilliant. And guess what? They didn’t need any type of adverting on this video, they just put it on YouTube for their fans to see, and they took care of the rest. In a blink of an eye, the video had eight million views. Mind-blowing.
So, with this last point in mind, we move to the next topic, that explains why companies should do what The North Face did: let their costumers be their marketing department.
Your Customers are the Marketing Department.
In a world full of advertising, being another company selling its products will not be enough anymore. Companies should let their costumers sell their products, without, of course, tell them that.
The best way to do so is to incite word of mouth marketing, giving sub-conscious tools to your costumers to be your best marketing team. A Nielsen report said that 92% of consumers, in general, believe more in suggestions from family and friends than in an advertisement from a company.
3 Tips to Improve your Word of Mouth Marketing.
Word of mouth marketing is the oldest way to promote a product and, in fact, when people started to do it, they probably wouldn’t know they were practising marketing, but in my opinion, it’s still the best way to promote a product.
Here are three ideas of how you can do it;
Start Discussing Controversial Topics.
I’m not saying to have your company talk about a super controversial topic, but an issue who can create different opinions, because that way, it will be easier to start conversations about it. It is crucial to, first of all, have your companies’ values in mind. Because you have to choose a subject who will match them.
By doing this, your company will be on the side of their own costumer’s, because if they choose your company in the first place, it’s because their values match yours, so they will be by your side in the subject you are defending. This means also that they will easily mention you in a conversation about this subject that both of you defend, and when a person listening or participating in the conversation also defends this particular subject, they will ear your company’s name, which will mean a lot more than ear about it on TV or in a social media post.
By choosing to defend subjects that can easily create a healthy discussion, and by carefully putting you on the side of your current costumers, you are taking your first step to improving your word of mouth marketing.
To finish, I can’t stress enough how important is to choose the right subject, do not choose a controversial subject that can create intense discussions, that’s definitely not something you want for your company.
Give your costumer’s an unforgettable experience.
Think about your conversations with friends and family. How much of those conversations involved great experiences that you or they had? Probably many. Extraordinary experiences are a great “ice breaker” in discussions, and also is expected in a human being to have the need of share with their closest ones some exciting moments in their life’s.
This is an opportunity that companies can’t miss, they have to think outside the box and realize what would be an extraordinary experience for their costumer’s, because with different targets came different needs, so the “extraordinary experience” is subjective, depends on the target of each company.
Companies have to think big and give a day (or more) that the costumers won’t forget, a day that will be so exciting that the next conversations will be about it.
Offering Sharing Incentives.
Give something back to your community. People will be more motivated to share your content with an incentive.
This tip is helpful to create awareness for your company because it will be likely that, depending on what your offering, you will receive a lot of shares and comments. This way, your company will be a hot subject on social media, especially in the niche your work for, so is necessary, once again, to be very careful when choosing the kind of incentive you will offer.
Always have in mind your target and their preferred needs.
Although I haven’t talked about the pandemic we are going through, we need to have in mind that some of the things I said must be adapted to a new changing world. In fact, I think this kind of marketing will be even more useful now, for the simple fact that more than ever people are carefully choosing what to buy. If they feel “obligated” to purchase something in a certain company, they will keep looking.
In times of crisis new ideas have to born, so take advantage of that, see what’s different in the society, and make your strategy based on that, and remember, you can sell without selling.