The rise of social media and the latest advancements in online networking has changed the face of marketing communications and its methods of interaction. It’s about time for marketing to evolve and adopt new methods of communication. The market is filled with enough clutter to confuse the audience. A marketer needs to devise a way to be heard; loud, crisp and clear. As this is the customer’s age; the four P’s of marketing have given way to the four C’s of Marketing Communication. Product, Place, Price and Promotion has paved the way for Content, Context, Connectivity and Community. Even the most successful marketers need to make a conscious effort to:
Build Relevant Content
Customers do not want false promises, they demand quality over quantity. They want to know, what’s in it for them. One must approach marketing as a natural flow of conversation unlike the traditional method of a vigorous way to sell. The customers need to feel respected. This change has been brought about by many organizations by providing an ‘Ask us’ or ‘How to’ pieces of information via blogs or by setting up an online help desk. This builds a one to one relationship with the customers despite of physical absence of both parties.
TALK IN THE RIGHT CONTEXT
Advancement in technology has provided both, the brand and the customer with enormous amount of information. Thus, it is important for the marketer to say something that stands out of the clutter and makes sense to the customer as well. What the marketer says has to be well filtered and slimmed down to a very precise target audience. The communication should be an output of well compared updated information (for instance latest trends) which when presented to the customer is well received. The introduction and growth of blogs has set in a trend of providing frequent first hand information thus ensuring authenticity and expertise hence quality. Twitter is an excellent example of this.
MAKE A CONNECTION
John Nesbitt in his book Megatrends (1982) used a term called‘ high tech, high touch’. It focused on the interaction of machine vs. man in a typical workplace. It meant allowing technology to be a medium of allowing people interested to get in touch whenever, wherever. With the rise of social media there exists immense opportunity online to connect, interact and engage your customers on a sustained basis.
Create A Community
We are all parts of some or the other community since birth. The world of wired community is formed on the basis of shared ideas, common interests, achieving a singular goal etc. Prospective consumers, suppliers, clients, buyers, sellers etc. have started building online communities on these lines and thus it has become easier for each one of them to get in touch with the other concerned community and get the best bargains. This has also enabled rapid transaction and transfer of information. A conversation on a Twitter blog, a chain of conversation on a Facebook picture or wall and websites like Ebay, LinkedIn have advocated this principle directly or indirectly and are succeeding through it.
Hence, making customers part of your community makes them feel belonged responsible and well informed.