None of us can predict the future. There is no clairvoyant or futurist who could have prepared us for the Changing Face of MarketingSM.
I have been a direct marketer for my entire career. I have not experienced the number or speed of changes in the way companies market as we have seen in the past few years. Marketing has become everyone’s business, and it is changing every day.
Technology has changed the way consumers receive and react to information. It has changed how consumers respond to an offer, and how purchases are considered and completed. Consumers can see a commercial on TV, research it on their tablet or smart phone, and order the product before the commercial is over.
Social media has empowered consumers. The buyers of goods and services no longer have to rely on a marketer’s claims about the benefits of a product. Today’s consumers rely on the opinions of their “friends” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other peer communities. The marketer’s message is much less important than their friend’s comments.
Consumers also have more ways to pay for their purchases than ever before. Virtual wallets, PayPal and prepaid credit cards give all consumers access to buying online. In the past, Underbanked consumers may not have had the means to pay without a credit card.
The new consumer is not waiting for brands to reach out to them, and products do not sell themselves. Today’s consumer decides what, when, and how they will make a purchase.
With all of the changes in the way consumers control the decision making and buying process, marketers have adjusted the way they position their brands and products. A key change has been inbound marketing. This allows marketers to pull potential customers to their brand with valuable content and whitepapers. Marketers have to earn the consumer’s trust with personalized messages that resonate with the “What’s in it for me” way of thinking.
Every day I wonder what the next few years will bring. While we cannot predict the new technologies, social media and consumer mindset of the future, we can be prepared for them. Making sure that our marketing strategies are adaptable, we will be prepared for the Changing Face of MarketingSM.