The New Primetime is 24/7

Remember nighttime TV in the 90’s? You know, Primetime.

Ellen and Drew Carey on Wednesday, Friends and Seinfeld on Thursday, and who could forget X-files on Sunday.

Many over the age of 30 remember sitting down at 8 pm every night, next to their family, watching a string of 2-4 prime time shows.

It was Primetime Baby. The television time slot that every network, producer, and advertiser loved because all eyes were glued to TV screens across America. It got the best TV shows. It had the best, most expensive commercials. It was like the golden era of television.

Primetime might have been coined during the television era, but the golden era of radio had the same consumer pull in its heyday.

primetime radio - making your brand stand out

Image Source: WMKY

During and after the Great Depression, Mom and dad would come home from work (or looking for work) and flick on the radio dial to listen to the 1 or 2 radio stations to get their news and maybe a little comedy hour.

Up until now, Primetime has been a fixture in the structure of our daily lives for almost a century, but that has all changed now.

How it all changed

Primetime is now a highly individualized time frame, segmented and spread throughout the day. None of us have the same “Primetime”, we are certainly not all watching the same shows and there are too many networks to even count anymore.

Besides the increased availability of on-demand content, there are a few driving factors that have helped to break up Primetime for consumers across the U.S. and beyond.

Changing work/life balance

As a society, we are working differently than we did two decades ago. More and more people are working remotely, which means they are often not on a strict 9-5 work schedule. They might wake up at 9 am and watch their favorite show on Netflix for an hour with coffee while catching up on Instagram and their favorite news blogs. Then they work from 10-3 before going to the gym and listening to some great podcasts. When they get back from the gym at 5, they eat “dinner”. After dinner, they squeeze in another 2-3 hours of work until 9. At 9 they jump on Twitch and play Fortnite with all their friends until about midnight.

Obviously, this sounds like it might be someone younger, but these days, you never know.

Side-Hustlers

The internet has given millions of people the opportunity to work on their passions outside of their “day job”. This means that a lot of people, millennials especially, are getting out of their “9-5” and working on their “7-11”. This group of people isn’t even watching TV in its traditional sense. They might catch a Hulu show once in a while but they are probably consuming content from blogs, social media, and podcasts in passing, or interspersed between moments while they are working.

making your brand stand out

No matter what your day looks like, it probably doesn’t have a “Primetime” that looks like your parents’ did.

With the democratization of information and entertainment across hundreds of platforms, your “Primetime” is just that–yours.

So Primetime as we knew it is dead. The control has shifted from the networks control, to the consumers, and things have gotten really interesting…

What does these mean for advertisers?

Well, it means their job is getting harder by the minute.

A century ago Advertising was easy—just put an ad in the newspaper and put up a billboard. 70 years ago they could throw in a live radio read. 50 years ago they could knock peoples socks off with a TV commercial, and people WANTED to watch it! 20 years ago banner ads across the new “internet” gave them yet another possible point of impact. Enter social media a decade ago and all hell broke loose…

Now in order to survive a brand has to do 1-of-2 things:

  1. offer something truly and utterly unique so that people have to find them
  2. be everywhere your customer is all at the same time

And both are extremely hard, so good luck 🤦🏻‍♂️

P.S. Read this to learn how to be everywhere at once.

How to Get Attention

A little under 20 years ago, advertising on the internet was easy.

You could run a Google Ad for the word “coffee” and it would cost you 5¢ a click.

By the way, you were the only one showing up, so you were going to get a 50%+ click through.

But times have changed…

You are now not only competing with 4,583 other brands and startups like yours, but you are fighting for consumers attention with every other business running ads, Netflix show, blog post, mobile app, video game and funny prank video.

texting

The internet is a massive, distracting place.

Scratch that, the entire world is a massive, distracting place.

Marketers have to be all-in if they hope to stand a chance to stay relevant.

It’s the hard truth.

They have to have an exceptional product, trustworthy advertising and fantastic customer service. 

Simply running Facebook ads or creating video content isn’t enough anymore—it has to be great.

You might be one of the lucky ones that are at the top because you built you brand before the ‘content boom’, or maybe you got a shot of adrenaline because you appeared on SharkTank or had a successful Kickstarter.

But unless you are fast, efficient and super creative, you will fade quickly.

How to fight distractions to get attention

Okay we’re going to get granular here, because that’s how we roll.

The first thing you need to understand is that consumers are going to fall into two buckets before they are truly attracted to you:

  1. They ARE NOT currently looking for what you are offering, thus you are trying to influence them
  2. They ARE currently looking for what you are offering, thus you are trying to convince them

But remember, before you can do either of these things, you have to first get in front of them.

linkedin

Image Source: Medium.com

After you achieve one of these two things, you have now won the attention game, which is huge in today’s world.

But it’s not either influencer or convince, you need to be able to do both at the same time.

Let me explain (By the way this is totally made up and hypothetical example).

On Monday, Susie, mom of 3 in Iowa, could be reading the latest article on PureWow.com.

While she is reading, she sees a (sponsored) post snuck in the midst of the said article, written by Rachel Hollis, an author and social media star that she loves.

The article is about Rachel’s favorite beauty products for the busy mom.

Susie clicks the article and reads through Rachel’s suggestions.

She really likes the ideas that Rachel has about contouring.

And she decides she wants to give “Product A” that Rachel is suggesting a try.

Hence, Influence.

On that same Monday, at the same exact time, Lindsay, a single woman in Brooklyn is sitting in her apartment thinking about the upcoming weekend.

She has a date with a cute girl from Queens on Friday, dinner with friends on Saturday, and brunch with her parents on Sunday.

She’s running low on bronzer, and she’s not super pumped about the one she has been using, so she decides to shop.

She hops on Pinterest and begins pinning all the looks and products she likes.

Then she goes to YouTube to watch a few product tutorials from brands and influencers.

Finally she goes to Google to price-shop the top three brands she finds.

She finds a great deal on Amazon for “Product A” and orders it with 2-day shipping.

amazon

Image Source: PC Mag

Hence, Convince.

If you sell Product A, you just won two new customers at the same time.

And here’s how you did it:

  • You negotiated a 1-year sponsorship deal with Rachel to create content about how much she loves your product
  • You collaborated with Purewow to do a sponsored posts with Rachel
  • You sent your products to 100 of the top YouTube makeup influencers, and began working with 40 of them to produce tutorials using your products
  • You found 40 bloggers with a large presence on Pinterest to partner with who write and post about your products
  • You setup Amazon FBA to distribute your products at a fair price with 2-day Prime shipping—so you automatically earn a higher level of awareness and trust than your competitors who are not on Amazon.

If one of these strategies was missing, you might have lost Susie or Lindsay as a customer.

If two or more of these strategies were missing, you might have lost both.

In order to truly thrive in today’s Wild West version of the internet, you really have to work backwards from your customers purchase, into a full omni-channel marketing approach.

It’s how the next generation of winners will win.

2019: A Huge Year for Manufacturing & Industrial Companies

2019, 2020 & 2021 are all going to be a really big years for anybody involved in this industry.

Whether you are a manufacturing company or industrial service provider, it’s an important time right now for sure.

This year we are seeing millennials move into management roles as the previous decision-makers in those companies age up and out.

And we’re going to continue to see that over the next few years.

This aging-up occurrence is particularly important this year because the millennial generation that grew up deep in the internet and social media are the ones that are now moving into these director and executive roles.

And when they’re making these decisions, understand that they’re doing it in a way that’s much different than the generation before—which will be a shock to the system for your business if you don’t understand it.

Times are a’changing

So the ways that you used to do business development—with trade shows, Word of Mouth, or just bid work—while still relevant, are giving way to decision-makers researching your company on the internet.

It’s also important that you know that they aren’t just looking for you specifically, they are looking for the best solution.

And if based on their view, you’re not the best solution, you’re in trouble.

Unless you are investing in what you look like to them across your website, Google and social media (like LinkedIn), then you might not appear to be the best solution. And you might never even know it, nor hear from them.

“When your online brand is not professional, you’re basically losing behind the scenes, and you will be completely blind to it.”

So when we talk about the people that are aging into these roles right now, we’re talking about people that are 35 to 45.

They are used to doing research and hiring in a different way than the generation previous.

They’re now using Google to look up solution providers, YouTube to learn how things are done and who is doing it, and they end up triple-checking other companies reputation in order to make their decisions.

But even this occurrence might not happen the way you think.

Image of the manufacturing inbound customer journey
Originally from McKinsey & company

In the early days of the internet, and even social media, the customer journey was pretty straight forward.

Manufacturers could advertise to a specific type of customer by sponsoring events and trade shows, then funnel customers down the pipeline until they needed them.

But now they are bouncing around like a pinball until they have an instantaneous need, or a brand/business shows that they have a clear advantage.

Graphic showing the circular customer journey when making purchasing decisions

The chart above is from a consumer study, but remember, at the end of the day, these decision-makers are consumers too.

They don’t magically turn off their human brain to make business decisions.

It works the same way as if they were personally looking for a car, or for a home insurance company.

Be everywhere. Be clear.

So now that you understand that your manufacturing business should not only “push” your brand and value-proposition out to your potential customers, but also prepare to “pull” them in and wow them or educate them when they land on your website or social media.

Notice the key sentence in #2 on the chart, “Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want”.

This is were you can really win.

It’s easy to get in front of someone, just pay to advertise.

Any old marketer or agency can spend your money for you.

But to really deliver a message that influences them, that’s were you make that money back.

Image of the modern consumer decision making process
Originally from McKinsey & Company

So if you’re a manufacturer and you hope to get business from a large corporation, their decision will start with past experience or use word of mouth.

But then, they’re also much more likely to hop over to Google and do some research, look at your reviews, your case studies and videos about your work. 

These decision-makers are going to look at your website to see if they can trust you.

They will look at what other jobs or what are their clients you have, or have worked with. 

During their search, they are doing this with all of your competitors as well, in order to find the most valuable option.

Promoting your work has always been really important.

But now it’s more critical then ever to put that stuff out there because it needs to be discoverable on platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube or Google.

These decision makers are doing their research.

And if you don’t update your website, put your work out there with testimonials and the projects that you’re working on, then they’re going to think you’re old, dusty or dead.