Few people think that marketing is just advertising or advertisements. They see it as a form of paid promotion and nothing else. In their view, marketing and advertising are the same things, words used interchangeably.
With every new technology and platform, we believe marketing will change forever.
What is marketing?
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the business, the set of institutions and processes to create, communicate, deliver, and exchange offers that have value for customers, customers, partners, and society in general.
Advertising will always be part of marketing. But is advertising marketing? The word “value” in this definition is what I’m discussing.
Good marketing builds trust.
When was the last time you put your trust in business more because of an ad? I’m sure it has happened, but I’m sure it does not happen all the time.
As I have said in many presentations, good marketing relies on three things:
- To be known
- To be a resourceful
- To be trusted
To be known
Mark Schaefer has written an excellent book called Known, which talks about this concept. We don’t sell out of the goodness of the heart, but we should think about how we want our organization to be known to the public.
And we also need to be known. As I discuss a bit in my last post about influencer marketing, influencers want to work with known brands.
Hence, customers want to purchase brands they know. If they can’t tell you, they will ask their friends, colleagues, etc. Suppose any of them know you. And where do they ask that?
- On social media platforms
- In email and SMS
- Personal (not so much these days)
- On the phone (I think people still make calls)
- In video calls (should we zoom in?)
You have to ensure you have an excellent social media presence and that you engage with your followers. Have them in their inboxes with useful information, the news they need, and timely advice.
To be known, you must at least do the following:
- Social media marketing
- Content Marketing (including blogs, whitepapers, case studies)
- Email marketing (with marketing automation if possible)
- Have a consistent, positive, and resourceful presence in your clients’ lives and in the lives of those who can recommend your services.
Sure, advertising can help market yourself, but why are you famous? Advertisement.
To be Resourceful
Think about that for a minute. Your customer’s marketing will thank you. Most marketers don’t seem to consider that. Above all, their main concern is the result.
Usually, people remember when you help them. They feel a sense of loyalty and gratitude to those who were there for them during dire times. This also applies to the market.
For instance, your content marketing efforts shouldn’t be all about SEO (even if that’s part of it). Content marketing should focus on utility – content that your target audience can use and share on their social media accounts, relatives, friends, or workmates.
To be Trusted
Confidence comes from empathy. Your customers want to know that you understand them, not only from a demographic perspective, but that you know who they are and their demands.
I’ve been discussing useful content for years. It’s still an essential part of content marketing. The content of the utility can be one or more of the following:
- Demonstration videos
- Interviews with experts with practical advice
- Reflective posts that help someone solve a problem
- Tools, References, Studies, eBooks, Whitepapers
- Newsjacking, which uses a current event to illustrate a point
There are other examples of useful content. Don’t get trapped down on what it is. Instead, focus on why it matters. This is important because you are using this utility content to be there when your customer needs it.
An attractive persona activity for buyers
Schedule a meeting with a real customer. Let them know that you are looking to understand their needs better. Keep it short and focused. Then, focus on a specific experience they’ve had with you and ask them the following:
- Motivations – What prompted them to take action and take this journey?
- Objectives: what did they want to achieve?
- Expectations – How did they imagine the trip? Did reality match expectations?
- Behavior – How have they interacted with your organization (in person, through an advertisement, on your website, on social)? What was their mood (busy, angry, happy, hectic, etc.)?
Listening to the suggestions and feedback to real clients tells you about their experiences working with you to change your mindset. You are now able to understand them and empathize with their situation.
Marketing Beyond Advertising
Now you can create marketing that they will thank you for, marketing that builds trust instead of ads that are just noise. You build trust by developing marketing initiatives that help them and sustain their needs and wants.