Changing your marketing mindset: 12 steps to the interactive future

We recently touched on the subjects of the many forms of web marketing tactics that could potentially be utilised as part of your digital marketing arsenal as well as the effectiveness and increased use of these online tools. So while we are on the topic of integrating innovative techniques into your marketing plan, let’s consider this from a broader, more strategic perspective, rather than a pure tactical point of view.

Today, marketing is exploding with possibilities but also complexities as it reaches out into new forms of communication channels and increasingly engaging media. Marketers have an exceptional opportunity to use these new tools to reach their audience, even in a fragmented world. It is becoming essential for marketers to understand the context of the “new marketing”, and prioritise what they need to do to develop customer engagement, build communities and maximise profit in a time of marketing confusion. Online and interactive marketing initiatives should indeed be considered as an effective divergence from traditional marketing mediums as marketers have the opportunity to engage customers in a “conversation” that is not just steered toward standardised product messaging.

I echo Larry Weber, global communications entrepreneur, that “The customer is in control” or “Web 2.0 will change marketing as we know it” could be considered as neo-platitudes. I would simply argue that few marketing professionals, even if growing by the day, embrace these new concepts and adapt their marketing approach accordingly.

An excellent excerpt from his recent book “Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business” is highlighting 12 steps to the interactive future that marketers should take to recalibrate their efforts and change their mindsets on how to improve their marketing effectiveness. This 12-step approach is a great way to organise your thinking about the differences between the traditional marketing of yesterday and the new marketing of today and tomorrow, and includes the following recommendations …

Which consumer 2.0 are you?

Almost every demographic group is engrossed in the Web, even if with different levels of participation depending on their profile. Whether they can be considered as creators, critics, collectors, joiners or just spectators, users are getting smarter about the Web 2.0 tools.

Many companies approach Web 2.0 as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is required. Social strategy indeed starts with an understanding of your target audience’s Social Technographics profile. It is then a matter of mapping out how users will participate and how relationships with your target audience will change over time in order to implement technologies accordingly. You will also need to make sure that your organisation is prepared for greater levels of participation and engagement.

It’s time to shift your focus and home in on your customers! Discover how …

Word-of-Mouth or when the unbiased opinion is trusted around the globe

All recent studies demonstrate that word-of-mouth (“WOM”) has more of an impact than any other traditional forms of communication. Having a word-of-mouth and social marketing strategy is therefore becoming essential and marketers will have to quickly learn how to effectively target consumer influencers. They should focus as much attention on what consumers are saying about their brands online as they do on any other form of communication.

Word-of-mouth marketing may be the oldest form of advertising but, as a marketing discipline, is a relatively new and increasingly important phenomenon that should be considered as a double-edged sword by marketers. Indeed, the more companies try to control or direct word-of-mouth, the greater their risk of failure. Inspiring consumers to “spread the word” is challenging, and clumsy attempts at it can do more harm than good. Marketers therefore need an authentic approach to make word-of-mouth work well. On the other hand, properly executed, WOM marketing is an incredibly effective weapon in the marketing arsenal, because the message comes from a trusted source.

Giving consumers a reason to talk about you, making it easy for them to share information, engaging and energising them to spread the good word are key ingredients of any word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Here are a couple of tips & tactics to start reaping the benefits of effective WOM marketing …