Times have definitely changed. With the changing times, the market has also evolved. Needs have changed and reactions on how to address those needs have changed even more. With this, traditional marketing as we know it is not that effective anymore. Brands now have to change the way they deal with customers. I have identified 3 things that big brands should learn about marketing in today’s times.
Before we jump into the 3 things, let’s again define what marketing is. Marketing is the exchange of values between buyer and seller. When we talk about values, it doesn’t necessarily mean money (so as to put it in context). Some people may consider other things more valuable like time, relationship, service, etc.
Going back, these are the 3 things that big brands should learn about marketing and dealing with their customers.
1. Worry about ME, hopefully more than you worry about competition.
I don’t know what made us so competitive. My daughter who is three years old thinks that everything’s a game and she needs to win. She thinks being first to get to elevator, brushing her teeth, taking a bath, all of these things are games to her. For a three year old, I get it. I think these kids just want to have fun.
I don’t get big brands though, when they get very competitive. It’s good to be aware of what the competitor is doing, but it will be better if you place more focus on us, your potential customers. Sometimes you lose us, because you’re too focused on what the competitor is doing. Focus on what we want rather on getting ahead.
2. Talk to me like i’m a person, because I AM A PERSON.
Personally, i’m sick and tired of brands who see me as “revenue”, “target market” or as a “lead”. See me as a person, because that is what I am. I am a marketer and the essence of what marketing is all about is understanding the person. Marketing is understanding the behaviour, the feelings, the effect of things on a person, the sentiments of a person and trying to look for a solution and address those by linking your product or service.
It’s not the other way around. Don’t be so in love with your brand, because as a consumer, I couldn’t care less. I have a plethora of choices (and the internet makes it easier to switch), and being a big name doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that you listen, not only to me, but also to your other customers. You try to win my trust, and yes, you will eventually do if you just listen and make me feel like I matter to you, too.
3. Build relationships as people and not as a brand.
A lot of big companies look into what startup businesses do (especially in the tech startup world). They think tech startups are magical. They try to peek into what these tech startups do, and what made them as big as Facebook, Uber, and the like. I’ve been a part of both worlds — a corporate slave and a struggling tech startup founder, and I have observed some differences. Pertaining to the topic today, I have seen that startups are known not only as brands but as people. And I think that most of the start-ups are not only known as brands, because customer validation and getting out of the building to know their customers is a key thing that do. With this, people or possible clients get to know the people behind the brand and not the brand alone.
One of the things that the big brands can do is send their people to where their customers are so that they can have intimate and real conversations with them. Check on the mood and the sentiments of the customers. Leave the office!