Much continues to be written about media. That’s definitely old news. But today it’s all about SOCIAL media and NEW media. Like other agencies, we even have a dedicated staff person with the title of New Media Specialist and we have moved headlong into this NEW space. It’s important and if we listen to the NEW media gurus we will quickly discover that this focus is the only focus that will drive business. We’re not sure yet where it all fits together and believe that we have a lot of company as marketers and agencies find their way.
This week’s AH-ha! moment comes from Maryam Banikarim, CMO & SVP of the Gannett Company who suggests that mastering the new media ecosystem takes more than strategy. “It is about fundamentally changing the way you operate and how you think and then making a new start to meet the needs of an evolved media paradigm.”
Spoken like a true media mogul, she gets an E for effort but misses the mark because her focus, as is the focus of too many marketing teams, begins with the media and not the customer.
She is correct in saying that marketing does have to fundamentally change. The challenge is we have already fundamentally changed because it was easy, simple and quick. The advent of social and new media made it simple and easy for marketers to shift from a CRM, where the emphasis was “relationship,” to an “engagement” strategy. For Group 3 Marketing (a marketing agency), according to Banikarim, “when you are well versed in the client’s business, you are able to solve its objectives. Focus on being a marketing solutions provider, providing holistic solutions that include search and social marketing campaigns, as well as traditional ad buys.”
Not only is she a media mogul, she is a media shill. We don’t solve our clients’ objectives; we help define them and put them into their marketplace perspective. We don’t provide holistic solutions, but we do provide realistic solutions that address the objectives. As a wise sage once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you don’t need a road map.”
The solutions we craft for our clients are grounded in the needs of each brand in regard to their marketplace challenges. Most of their challenges have a root foundation of building sales. Whether it is a new brand or an established one, sales pressures never end. We call these challenges many things but the end game is to get more sales, increase funding or find more sponsors (in my non-profit after work life), with the ultimate result of growth.
The Marketing Implications
In today’s chaotic marketplace, there are three driving forces that shape how we do business. They are not new, but we continually need to remind ourselves of their importance.
1. We have to be relevant. Don’t waste your customer’s time. Maybe the 140 character tweet is the best thing to happen to marketing because it makes us focus. But don’t be taken in by those that suggest we HAVE TO continually feed customers more information. It’s not about more, it’s about being relevant.
2. We have to be real time or at least near time. The information we provide has to be now, not later. The days of batch processing and once-a-month e-mails and direct mail pieces are from an old paradigm. That’s why we are moving our platforms to what we call Ei3 marketing – EVERY DAY MARKETING – because customer dynamics happen or change every day.
3. We have to create trust because believability is at the core of story building. The one positive aspect of social media is that if your brand story or execution of the brand promise is not 100% honest, all your Facebook friends will tell all their Facebook friends and the viral cascade can overwhelm a brand.
The solutions that marketing teams have to create to influence the next sale also have to influence change at the highest level of the business. The old business and marketing paradigms were linear; the new ones are multi-layered with new and old media choices competing for scares dollars and even scarcer, more frugal customers. We each have a story to build and we have to amplify it across all media channels to build brand momentum. We have to decide if we want a relationship or an engagement solution. Or is there something else?
There are no easy, simple, or quick marketing solutions. It’s complicated but if we stay focused on the customer, we can be more successful than our competitors. This week, ask your team how you are using all media to amplify your brand’s message. Be prepared for silence. Bring lunch.
Have a fantastic week.
Bart Foreman and the Group 3 Marketing Team
We continue to ask a favor. In conjunction with Maxwell House, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is competing with ten other cities for one of three $50,000 gifts and if we are one of the winners, we will rehab an American Indian Center in St. Paul, MN. The need is great and you do not have to contribute a penny – JUST use the link below and vote for us. Voting is open until early June. You can vote every day but I’ll be happy if you can just vote weekly when you get this link. Together, we can make a difference. Thanks in advance for voting.
Please click here to vote.