Yes, the end of marketing absolutely is near. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world if you know why and what to do about it.
The marketing that’s dying (ending) is the marketing that builds a façade around the company and what it sells, and accomplishes little else. You know, pictures of happy people using your product, a new crop of buzzwords, that awesome tagline, a new glossy brochure — window dressing.
It’s dying because every new buzzword or new benefit you pile onto your story over the years makes you sound more like everybody else and less like what is uniquely you.
It’s dying because with every new piece of the façade you make it harder for people to see and connect with the real you; what truly makes you different.
It’s dying because with every new piece of the façade you spend less time making the actual experience of using your product better and more time making it just SEEM better.
What to do
Instead: strip away everything that isn’t authentically you from your story; get better at delivering on what’s left; and get found by the people who are looking for exactly that.
Let me give you an example. A client, a software developer, always took pride in their customer support. They live and breathe it. This was clearly at the core of who they are, so we pointed our marketing time and energy at refining their customer support AND communicating it. Yet, what software developer isn’t talking about their customer support?!
We put their customer support front and center on their website AND encouraged them to re-focus on making their customer support even better. We got aggressive at logging and categorizing customer support requests and turning the biggest issues into product enhancements in the next software update. The goal, of course, being to remove the problems people were having before they had them. We also started updating the product with changes more often. We added video tutorials aimed at questions support was getting. We added a “top 10” support questions and answers list on the support homepage, again, reflecting the issues we were hearing. And we increased the headcount on the support team.
We post the average support request response on the header of every webpage on their site, and their support story is front and center (NOT one of many bullet points!) on their home page.
That may sound more like product improvement than marketing to you. But it is the new marketing.
The new marketing is more a process — like growing a successful garden – than an event (sending a new mailing, placing a bigger ad). So I’ll take three more blog posts to walk you through that process.
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