As we begin 2015, let’s be certain to remember and focus on… Three Key Marketing 101 Lessons that never go out of style not matter the platforms or new names:
1. You are NOT Your Customer—Do Your Research: One of the most important lessons every marketer should remember is to market to your target audience—not yourself. Yet how many times does your inner voice tell you “They’ll never buy that…?” Don’t spout information YOU THINK your market wants to hear. Listen to your prospects first—and social is just about the greatest listening tool ever invented. It’s focus groups on steroids! Use social media to listen to who your ideal customer is and what she wants before you start messaging.
2. Frequency Isn’t a Bad Thing: Social reach and frequency are tangential to good marketing, as long as your content is relevant to your market. How many times does a potential customer or partner need to see your message before they convert? You might as well ask how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop (remember that old TV commercial?). Some will bite after a dozen licks; for others, it’s three—depends on where your audience is in a given moment when they see your message. And remember, you’re not just talking to one person here—you’re getting in front of your audience’s friends and their friends as well. The more the merrier. So do not forget about good ole “reach and frequency.”
3. Story is Important: Remember the power of storytelling, and use it in your communications. People can’t resist a good story. It’s an emotional connection bridge that is built into our human DNA. Social enhances it by allowing more consumers to share more stories about more of the products they see, buy and use. Another thing to remember about stories is that people are already having conversation about your brand, and you can’t necessarily control that. Companies who try to stem the tide of a bad story by trying to control the message find this out the hard way. However, you can INFLUENCE the kind of stories that are told about you by being involved in the conversation, transparent in your use of social media, and responsive to the needs of your customers, both online and offline.
These are just three lessons. There are many more that have been shuffled aside. Personally, I think every college student graduating with a marketing degree, every graduating MBA student, and those in the marketing department of brands, agencies and anyone responsible for marketing and especially social media, should have to re-learn Marketing 101.
From here on out, social is going to play a significant role in doing business—but that doesn’t mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater.