Marketing tactics have changed so much over the past few years. That change continues to accelerate with new platforms and ever changing consumer habits. The way people consume information is constantly evolving which opens new doors for getting to your customer, while closing others. Marketers and brands have to be very aware of what their customers problems are, and where their attention is.
Even though all of these tactical changes are taking place in a fraction of the time that they were in the past, the core principles of marketing haven’t changed that much. If we rewind all the way back to the early 1900’s when brands started to invest in advertising, many of the same strategies worked then as they do today.
In the early days they would put up signage for a product at the local markets or storefronts, and pass out flyers. The signs would read the businesses name. They would have a tagline that tried to get attention before people even stepped through your door. Then, the store clerk would tell you some story about his product or service. They’d tell you how others, like your neighbors or other locals, were using their product or service and found it useful. Sometimes, with the right ingredients, marketing campaigns would attempt to gain your trust before you even thought about stepping into a store. Once trust was established, a sale would eventually take place. If they were continually useful and engaging, they could sell to you over and over again.
Let’s recap how marketing used to work:
- They got your attention
- They told you a story
- They used social proof like testimonials, and eventually celebrities to endorse different products and services
- Trust was established because if it works for those people, it should work for me.
- Trust led to a sale
- Continued engagement led to more sales
Over the years the platforms have changed, but the principles are the same. In the 1930’s it was radio. During the 1960’s it was television. In the 1990’s it was the Internet. Now it’s social media.
Today, all we hear about is social media, digital marketing, big data, and all the other tactical information that marketers use to try to gain a leg up on their competition. There is definitely value in these tactics, but we tend to forget about the principles that have worked in the past, and will continue to work forever.
Get their attention, earn their trust, build a community, sell, sell, sell!
Whether you’re using Facebook, email marketing, video, Twitter, Snapchat, or any of the other tactical platforms that you can use, the process is the same. First, you need to gain your audience’s attention. Then, you need to tell a story about your product or your service, and show the value that it offers. Next, you need to prove that it will have value by displaying instances of social proof, like testimonials. Just as in the case with all marketing, consistency is key. By repeating this cycle in front of the same validated audience, eventually, you will earn their trust. Trust, which is the most lucrative thing that you can earn from your customer, will eventually lead to the sale, but only when your customer is ready to buy. This is why consistency is key.
It’s very hard to get a transactional sale, without first earning trust. This can usually only be done with commodity products or services in which price is the deciding factor.
The best way to market your brand is to be consistent with your message, consistently show value, and consistently earn their trust. That way whenever they are ready to buy, whenever they have a problem that you can solve, they will pick you as their solution. Don’t get bogged down with the transactional data and tactics that are possible–there are many ways and many platforms to market your brand–but remember the tried and true principles of marketing and you will be successful.
First gain their attention. Next, tell them a story about why your product or service is valuable. Show them social proof of others that are engaging with your brand. Do that consistently until you gain their trust. Then continue to engage them for repeat results and growth.