The seven ‘deadly’ or ‘cardinal’ sins are commonly thought of as envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. However, in marketing today, there is another sin being committed by companies the world over. This offence creates so much dissatisfaction for prospects and customers alike, the punishment for committing such a crime is becoming increasingly severe.
I was on a three hour train journey the other day. The staff were perfectly friendly but the way they worked was quite farcical.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way of improving visibility by trying to ensure one has as high a web ranking as possible when relevant searches are undertaken. This is visibility in ‘unpaid’ or ‘organic’ search results as opposed to those opportunities which companies pay for in order to be found.
Since Google launched their Google + social network in June 2011 a lot has been written about whether it will be able to rival Facebook as a real alternative. Many people make a big deal of the numbers. While Facebook currently has somewhere in the region of 800 million users globally, Google + has around 65million. If a social network is only as valuable as the users it has, then clearly Google + has some way to go before it becomes as useful or as important as Facebook.
Marketing is no longer purely transactional. Historically, the major measure to assess whether a company’s marketing was effective, or not, was Return On Investment (ROI). A company would undertake, for example, a direct mail campaign and the metrics they would look at were the number of responses and deals done.
For a vast majority of companies Social Media is still new. However, because many of the customers a business would like to reach, spend an increasing amount of time on these platforms, companies have come to recognize the importance of being involved. Therein the frustration starts to build. Businesses recognize the importance of social media and yet are struggling to make it work in any tangible way.
The Web has enabled all of us to create and access this knowledge, in a way not previously known. So, for example, we can follow the collective train of thought, on any particular issue of the day, by following the comments posted on Twitter. We can evaluate the best place to stay, when abroad, by tapping into the collective wisdom on a website like tripadvisor.com.
‘Old Marketing’ was transactional in nature. One would organise a direct mail, telemarketing or advertising campaign, and one would measure the results obtained. If it achieved a ‘return on investment’ the campaign was deemed successful. If not, it failed. As soon as activities were undertaken, e.g., phone calls were made or letters landed on the doormat of prospects, one could hope to receive some sort of response. Therefore, using this old model there was always a possibility of some ‘quick wins’.
There is an adage which is regularly used by ‘progressive’ marketers today. That is, marketing is no longer about broadcast messaging as it was before the Web. Rather, marketing is now about engaging with customers via online tools where customers have the right of reply. Consequently, marketing becomes less about broadcast messaging and more about a conversation. That is the move from ‘one way communication’ to ‘two way communication’.
The old adage; ‘The Customer is King’ came from a time when companies aimed to provide great customer service for their clientele. Great service was literally about serving customers. In other words, service was something done to a customer.