If you like change, you might consider a career in marketing. Marketing has changed light years in the last ten years. To be a successful marketer today, you need to be very fluid, learning new paradigms, tactics and technologies, and be open to trying new things and experimenting – at least a little.
Why has marketing changed since 2000?
The Internet is the disruptive innovation that has changed how people buy things. Someone who wants to buy a product or service now has a whole world to shop in (online) or at least to investigate what they want to buy before they buy it. The idea of a seller owning information that a buyer cannot access, with the power to make the sale happen when they seller wants it, is no longer real.
Google’s Zero Moment of Truth
Google coined a term and acronym – the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT. This is a relatively new step in a buyer’s buying process, which used to involved 1.) a stimulus like an ad, 2.) a visit to a store and a purchase, and 3.) the customer’s experience using the product purchased. Research shows that between the stimulus and purchase, on average buyers will consult 10.4 resources before making a buy decision. (I wrote about this in a previous blog post – please read Why Your B2B Marketing Needs a Hub and Spoke System.)
So, Buyers Are in Charge
People buy when they want to buy, when they are ready. No one wants to get sold to, especially if they are not ready to buy! Buyers can now access virtually all the information they need to make an informed decision on what to buy and at what price.
A great example of industry marketers understanding this and completely changing the way they market is the car industry. Instead of the buyer meekly walking onto the sales lot at the mercy of a car salesperson, with the advent of the Internet buyers began to walk on the lot armed with prices, the cost basis, in other words, negotiating ammunition! After a while the car manufacturers and dealers made some changes to accommodate this new buyer.
Now, a buyer can go on manufacturer websites and create 3-D images of what his or her car will look like, with the feature that person wants and in their color choice! Car manufacturers (and increasingly) dealers know that if they load the buyer with details, information, and even pricing ahead of time to make the buyer feel comfortable with their decision, the deal is done before the buyer walks on the lot!
Search Engine Algorithms Change (Constantly)
If you think paying someone to optimize your website still works, I have a bridge to sell you. There are some optimization elements that should be built into every site, but the critical factor now is content. Quality content on your site and sharing that content on quality social media sites (NOT content farms) so that others like it, comment on it, and begin to follow you as a subject or industry thought leader. Just research Google’s latest algorithm change, code named Penguin, to validate this. As with past Google algorithm changes, the rug has been pulled out from underneath the SEO tricksters, who are now scrambling to make changes necessary to recover their clients’ search engine performance. Google weighs heavily relevant, quality sites with relevant, high quality content, and pays less attention to SEO tactics.
What Does Work in Marketing?
Today marketers need a quality presence online, great content that adds value for their clients and customers, and a way to engage prospects, clients and customers through social media (video, blog posts, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – even Pinterest and Instagram!) And the ability to be flexible, try out new technology, and measure results.
Just keep repeating these words, “Change is good! Change is good! Change is good!”
If you want to change the way you market, contact Marketing Consultant Jennifer Beever from New Incite today. She provides “new insight” for her clients’ marketing programs and “incites” them to positive change.