It’s evident: the modern day consumer is in control. What does that mean for your business? It means you must make some adjustments or you are not going to grow.
Consumers demand a deal, want more buying options and have shorter attention spans. They need it fast and won’t even respond like we want them to. We give our toll-free number and our website URL, and they ignore us. They turn to Google, Twitter and Youtube first, and then they decide what’s next.
So how do you profit from the contemporary consumer? Here are four business-changing DR marketing trends every CEO should be considering:
- DR Marketing must go back to its roots of conceptual thinking and uncover the big ideas again. Many of the greats that built our industry are retiring. They were the big thinkers, and we ran their programs. We are going to have to think for ourselves now. Stop incessantly asking how we are going to market the product and what we are going to do. Start by asking, “Why do we do what we do? Why would anybody want to buy from us in the first place? Why does our product matter? Why does our company exist?”
Beginning with “Why?” may seem fluffy and soft to the analytic brain. But “Why?” is at the heart of great marketing strategy. Though less directly connected to results than creative testing, it makes everything two times, five times, even 10 times better. What’s your “Why?”
- Disruptive technology is real and can accelerate, or destroy, the role of DR marketing. I set a record for the number of marketing meetings held this year that included leaders from our technology team.
The fact is becoming clear: ideas you can’t scale are no longer of value. And scale, more and more, includes some aspect of disruptive technology innovation.
Some technology change is easy to get, such as the cost of TV spot distribution declining and the benefit to smaller media outlets that are now profitable for direct marketing. Some technology changes are harder to harness, like digital pre-testing platforms and advanced data mining for better and faster decisions. But today, a technology component is no longer a competitive advantage; it’s a cost of entry in this business.
Do you know what big technology projects your marketing department has planned for next year?
- Consumers want — no, they demand — direct brand interactions. All marketers are going to be in the DR marketing business, or they will realize that they better be soon.
What used to be a quiet, high-profit space is now an ocean of companies all vying for affections from the end consumer. Chief marketing officers are realizing that direct marketing not only works, but also that the consumer prefers this kind of convenience, interaction and engagement. Are you ready for that kind of competitor in your space?
- Data must become self-aware, ensuring the intelligence and profitability of every campaign. I’m on the board of a company and we were recently evaluating the results from a major marketing campaign. We were provided a report that included 20 data points outlining success. My problem was that bottom line sales did not increase much. Marketing has been reporting to you what they know paints the best picture of success. That is about to change for the benefit of all parties.
The computer is becoming self-aware enough to tell me what IT, not a human, thinks is going on. The digital dashboard of performance is now a pre-requisite for success. And, you ought to personally log onto your corporate Google AdWords account, set up your own marketing campaign or listen to actual phone calls of customers.
Find simple checkpoints; otherwise, the complexity of marketing could prevent you from properly interpreting results.
How will you harness the power of the modern day consumer?
What are your DR marketing strategy priorities? I know you have an entire business to run, people to lead and investments to consider. You must enter the right markets, create in-demand products, set smart strategy and execute brilliantly. But consider the new reality: the consumer now has control of one aspect of your business, and your marketing department just swelled into the millions as a result.