3 Things that Big Brands should Learn about Marketing and Customer Relationships

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!

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Tell Me What I NEED to Hear: Marketing and Relationships

Marketing is so complicated. It’s just like courting the girl of your dreams or flirting with Mr. Right. Since it’s the month of love, I’ll oftentimes relate business to relationships. I have loved studying and practicing marketing all my life and yet, even with all the knowledge that I have, I still make mistakes.

You might say, “Arrrrgh, really, Ginger. How can we trust anything you say, now that you have admitted to failing?” Being the perfectionist that I am, I actually hate failing, but a friend recently reminded me again that it’s okay to fail. We, honestly, learn new things (and I’m not saying this as a scapegoat for my failures. It’s really true that you get to learn.) from stumbles, roadblocks and challenges. So, today, I have done some retrospection and have recalled the times when I have failed in marketing, and I will share with you the reasons why I failed.


Reasons why I failed in some Marketing Strategies? (Hope you really read these!)

#1 I identified and tapped the wrong market / audience

What is prevalent when you talk to business owners is that they want to sell their product to everyone. Well, this marketing disease has been there for ages, so this no-no strategy is not new. For those though who have identified a market for their product or brand, we fail in marketing because we have identified the wrong market.

Why do we fall into this trap? Well, just like relationships, some of us just jump the gun and ask someone to be our other half without truly knowing him / her. We make conclusions and we expect that person to be Mr. or Ms. Right just because we have spent days with him / her, bashing in the rays of sweetness, daydreaming about a perfect life together. In business, we oftentimes, make conclusions, too. We, especially if we are a part of that market, think that our needs are similar to everyone in our circle. The likelihood of this is greater, but not always correct. We cannot generalize or assume this to be true. Another thing is that the market that we have identified may be too small for business or brand longevity. When you segment the market, be sure that the market you have identified can sustain your business.

What you can do?
Validate your assumptions by talking to other representatives of the market that you have identified and look at the size of the market.

#2 We started with “Execution” when the “Strategy” wasn’t in Place yet

Have you ever just blurted out something to a loved one, without really thinking about the words, and you probably did this because you were so emotional and wanted to tell him / her how you felt? Then, soon after, you realize the big mess that you got yourself into and regret it for the rest of your life.

Well, in marketing, a lot of times, we also make the same big mistake. We get so excited with producing a video, a marketing collateral, a super nice poster, etc. just because that “brilliant” idea for execution hits us without even thinking about the overall strategy for our product and brand. Also, sometimes, we just execute because everyone’s doing the same thing, even if the campaign is not really aligned with our brand.

What you can do?
Start with developing the strategy and the plan first!

#3 We are so full of ourselves and our idea that we fail to listen and tell our market what they need to hear

In relationships, most of the time, we feel like we have been giving our all, but we actually fail to listen and tell our partners what they NEED to hear. We keep on giving unsolicited advice. We keep on nagging. Bottomline is, we fail to listen. A simple “It will be okay. Everything will be fine” or just a kiss or a hug may be all that he / she needs.

In marketing, we sometimes make the mistake of bombarding our potential customers with messages that they don’t really want to hear. We tell them so many things that they end up running away overwhelmed or uninterested.

What you can do?
We need to learn how to listen and say only things that matter.

There are other marketing lessons that I have learned. I may need to share it with you on another day. How about you? Want to share with us what marketing lessons you have learned?

Have a happy love month!


Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

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