2009 was a “watershed” year, packed with transformation and shifting, all happening to clear out the old in order to make way for the new. In watershed years, a lot of activity and change which has been slowly building over previous periods finally moves through all at once.
And so it goes as the pace of change continues to accelerate in the world at large – more and more gets packed into the same seemingly-finite amount of time and space. Mentalities change faster, evolution happens at a heightened rate. You know where I’m going with this – it all impacts your marketing too. Not just how you market, but what you say and do. And it’s coming to a head in 2010, likely a waterfall year. Expect to see the flow of change speed up even more!
Inspired by the emerging shift in human consciousness already occurring and fueled by everything from environmental awareness to the rise of social media, doing business will become as much about serving as selling (and pardon my bias, but I say it’s about time!).
In fact, successful marketers during the economic downturn discovered ages ago that when you sell by way of serving, you develop a loyal following that sticks with you through thick and thin, which is why they’ve remained successful even duringrecent tough times.
A major ramification of “service” is that you should be prepared to provide it. I’m not talking about lip service, but instead about genuine customer engagement. Go from just talking to also listening. Incorporate the ability for your customers to respond to your messages – both from within and without the message channel.
This means they should be able to reply to your email marketing messages, for example, rather than run smack into a “do not reply to this email” wall. The same goes for social media, where in-channel dialog is not only desired but the norm. Make sure someone’s listening, gathering feedback, and responding.
The logical extension of conscious business practices into marketing also involves this same emphasis on contribution and respect. If you’re asking for someone’s attention, give them something worth paying attention to, like free information, help, entertainment or savings.
Give before expecting to receive, give unexpectedly, and give even when you’re not asking to receive anything. Listen and talk. Be human, be conversational. CONNECT. Then, when you do present opportunities to buy, your people will have a foundation of trust and loyalty to stand on, and will engage with confidence.
What better time than now to crystallize your intentions for 2010 and beyond, and prepare for the shift into conscious marketing?
Tags: change, conscious marketing, digital marketing, evolution