It becomes increasingly difficult to obtain attention from prospects and customers alike. Today, we are all swamped with an array of online TV and video channels, digital radio, blogs, 24/7 news, apps, emails, text messages, phone calls and a plethora of social media interactions etc.
Many organisations primarily focus on ‘what’ they do and provide for their customers. The best companies will often strive to continually improve the products and services they deliver. Yet, the simple truth is that, in today’s digital web enabled world, there is very little that a company can introduce that won’t be copied immediately by competitors, if it is deemed to be an intelligent development in attracting or retaining customers.
the vibrancy that the internet delivers is now under threat. Until now, the owners of the pipes through which the information travels, when we use the internet, have not been allowed to discriminate between the information that they deliver. So, companies such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T in the USA or BT, Virgin Media and Sky in the UK, have to give equal priority to a big business, media company or individual blogger.
It was while enjoying a series of single malt whiskies, in the Three Crowns Pub, that I was reminded of a marketing lesson which too many businesses are missing in this new web enabled, digital world…
Businesses’ use of social media reminds me a little of the beginnings of the mobile phone. While embraced as exciting by a few people, at the beginning, many found the idea of a mobile phone abhorrent. “Why would I want people to be able to contact me everywhere I go?” was a usual retort I often heard. Of course, over time usage grew and now most people would find it hard to live without their mobile phone.
As wearable technology starts to become mainstream, and as sensors start to make all sorts of gadgets ever more ‘intelligent’, the opportunities in healthcare are enormous.
Today, we live in a world where products are ubiquitous. With the speed of communication, and transparency of the web, even the most innovative businesses have a very small window of opportunity to have a true USP. For example, Samsung introduced the world to its Galaxy Tab tablet device a mere five months after the iPad was first released.
Some marketers will tell you it is business as normal, that digital channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube just represent new opportunities to communicate. They simply add to the more traditional vehicles such as direct mail and telemarketing. The fundamental principles of marketing, however, have not changed. These marketers are wrong.
“The Google policy about a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line but not cross it” declared Eric Schmidt when he was Chairman and CEO of Google. This statement was made during an interview with The Atlantic editor, James Bennett, for The Washington Ideas Forum in October 2010.
As early as 1967, Professor Johan Arndt from the Colombia Graduate School Of Business identified ‘word of mouth’ as “one of the most important, if not the most important source of information for the consumer.” As time marches on, ‘word of mouth’ only becomes more influential.