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Rethinking The Marketing Landscape

The old marketing proverb the right message, right customer, right time has guided advertising strategy for decades. At the recent Age of Me Conference held in Edmonton in early October, someone smart cleverly rephrased this statement in a way that made me rethink how much the marketing world has changed.

“The right value, to the right audience, in their time”

Why does this matter?

Value is a more useful form of a message. Audience speaks to a community of people more than an individual customer. In their time respects the expectations of on-demand delivery expectation is a whole different beast from broadcast media.

Marketers who want to live out this new truth have a lot of new tools at their disposal. The following six insights may be helpful.

Insight 1 – Customer, not campaigns

Stop thinking campaign first, think customer first. By flipping the starting point from putting our company needs first to putting our customer needs first, we can think differently about what it means to create moments that matter. Moments only matter if it’s meaningful to customers.

Insight 2 – There are many paths to purchase

Each individual here is customer shapes their own path on their journey a customer gets to their destination is It’s short-sighted for brands to force a customer into one single path to conversion.

The path to purchase is dynamic. Each time a new tool or channel (I’m looking at you Tik Tok) is introduced it again reshapes the way people shop, learn and discover solutions to their problems.

In reality, there could be as many journeys as there are customers.

Insight 3 – Want to win? Learn faster.

Data is all around us. Gathering data is not all that useful unto itself. The goal is to use data to learn about your customer’s journeys and understand the moments you can make and build on relationships.

Learning is the only competitive advantage.

Insight 4 – Consumers are Predictably Irrational

As consumers, our decisions aren’t always easily explained. This means that a lot of data marketers collect about us doesn’t matter as much as they think it might. Behavioural economics is a promising new field of study that can help marketers and organizations better understand these influences. Here are three examples:

1. Social Persuasion
One way to move people to action is through social persuasion. We can motivate people by comparing their own performance to a peer group with online tools such as a financial savings calculator.

2. Present Bias
We want to receive a reward now, even though it comes at a cost to us later. Implementation intentions are a way to overcome this. Plan your schedule around taking an action. Invite people to schedule it into their calendar.

3. Overload
We can overload people with information, emotion or visuals. The way to overcome overload is simplicity. Simple words, minimalistic style and clear calls to action are ways to overcome analysis paralysis.

Insight 5 – Customers are people, listen to them

The way customers engage with culture is measurable and visible in real-time. A conversation is happening right now about nearly every topic imaginable. If enough of these conversations happen, the topic begins to trend. Over time, these trends start shaping culture. Brands would do well to spend more time listening, then thinking about how to interact. This example from Dove was in response to the Canadian government introducing parental leave.

— Dove Men+Care (@MadeForMen) March 18, 2019

Insight 6 – Profit is a product of Purpose

Purpose is a higher order calling for brands. Back in the day, branding was all about creating a vision & mission that focused on shareholder value. That worked really well for Kodak and Blockbuster, until it didn’t. Now sustainably profitable companies like Zappos, Tom’s Shoes, Nike, Dove and MEC focus their resources on connecting with their customers a higher purpose instead of just focusing on their wallets.

Many thanks to these incredible speakers for sharing their thoughts and wisdom.

Mike Badour – Canada Post GM
Melaina Vinski. PwC – Behavioural insights lead
Laura Pearce Twitter
Dan King – ZGM
Rob Fairhead – ZGM

About The Author

Marc Binkley is the Managing Director and Digital Strategy Lead at Anstice Communications. Marc and his team use digital tools and technology like search engine optimization, paid ads on search, social & display, content strategy, site optimization and predictive analytics to help clients adapt to modern consumer behaviour and grow their business.