Culture

There is no silver bullet when it comes to reaching customers!

I recently attended a couple of workshops related to marketing efforts. In each session,  I had the pleasure of speaking with a variety of professionals. It struck me right away that they all had one thing in common: Each was tasked with marketing their organizations to consumers.

In both sessions, there was an evident problem of reaching out to consumers. As quickly as the problem was presented, solutions appeared. Some were centered around social media, others focused on Search Engine Optimization, and some involved mobile and mobile apps. Each solution was presented to the attendant as a “silver bullet” for their problems. A be-all, end-all for reaching more consumers. There are two major problems with all this.

First, there is not — and never will be — a “silver bullet” solution for reaching more people. It is a crying shame that so-called experts are still claiming as much. Organizations need to focus on offering a service or product that people actually want and can use. Next, companies need to establish a long-term relationship with people. Channels of communication can then be established based on how those people prefer to interact…which brings me to the second problem.

There is no 'silver bullet' option for targeting your customers.
Just because you have a solution for targeting your customers, doesn’t mean you will succeed.

People are people. They are not data, numbers, analytics, benchmarks, or measurements. They are simple, yet complex. They communicate in a variety of ways using a variety of tools. They cannot be forced to view or listen to content. If a person feels pressured into listening to some organization’s marketing mumbo-jumbo, they’ll most likely run for the hills…or complain about that company on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are charged with helping to market your organization, here are my quick tips:

  • Treat people like people.
  • Offer something someone wants.
  • Make your offering grossly unique.
  • Go to your consumers – don’t make them come to you.
  • Be genuine in your offerings.
  • Establish a long-term relationship with your consumers.
  • Listen. Feedback is important.
  • Smile!

As you follow these tips, you’ll start to see how all of those techniques you learned from your  latest webinar/workshop/article come into play. But first and foremost, you must make a genuine connection with people, and keep it going for the long haul.