In the Midst of All the Noise
The noise of marketing is at an all-time high and if measured in decibels, it would be louder than a jet engine during takeoff. For the consumer, the cry is for someone to turn off the noise. You are fighting for people’s time in the loudest, most crammed marketplace in history. The No. 1 marketing question should be: “How do I get a person’s time?”
Marketing is identifying an “unfilled need” and filling it with a solution; I would suggest starting with identifying your customer’s “unfilled need.” Deal in the truth, develop your strategy and remember that a great “rainmaker” will always outperform the best strategy or technology. Never doubt the ability and results of human interaction.
Your website is your hub, and print is the No. 1 tool to drive traffic there, more than all digital marketing tools combined. Internet search is the single biggest change from 10 years ago. I love clients who say “I track everything, we ask every client – ‘How did you hear about us?’” The problem is most customers only remember the last place of reference and since the first response to all marketing is an Internet search, most customers respond “your website” because it was the last place, not the first place, they were alerted to your product or services. Additionally, a good marketing plan would be in front of your prospect from several perspectives.
Relevant Content is King
It’s imperative to be writing and creating relevant content on a regular basis. The nine-year success of SCB Marketing is that all the information presented in the magazine this month and every month is unique and relevant, thus the consumer reads it. Content also includes the design of your brand and ads.
Consumer Receives Information
Digital, TV, billboards and radio have a quick one- to three-second attention span. Digital is a lean-in experience; click – go – click – scan – go – click – go, versus a great content-rich and relevant magazine, which is a lean-back experience. A great marketer, Mark Salmon of Appliance Direct, commented, “Only in a great magazine can you get a person’s attention for three seconds up to 10 minutes or more, and do that repetitively. Great publications are not thrown away and are constantly referred to over and over.”
For the first time in history, in addition to the noise and fight for the consumer’s time, we have five significantly different buying audiences:
Silent Generation: Age 72 to 85; they are conforming, loyal, the richest and free spending retirees; avid readers of newspaper; retirement often is a rocking chair.
Boomer Generation: Age 50 to 71; there are 77 million; they are “Me” centered; buy with credit; were the first TV generation; first with children raised on two incomes; retirement means the children are gone from the house and their retirement spending totally changes the economy.
Generation X: Age 35 to 49; they are suspicious, latchkey kids; street smart; raised on textbooks converted to technology; first generation to earn less than the preceding generation; chip on their shoulder and are loyal to brands.
Millennials or Gen Y: 14 to 34; optimistic; the next great generation; prefer digital; assertive; magazine readership is growing fastest in this generation; need praise; first generation to be smarter than their parents when it comes to technology.
Gen Z: Age 1 to 13; 2006 was the largest U.S. recorded birth year ever and 49 percent were Hispanic; the most popular name used to be Smith, but is now Rodriguez; they will dwarf the Baby Boomers.
In five years, the demographics of the buying audience will drastically shift. The Silent Generation will almost be gone, thus newspapers will likely disappear. The Boomers will start to spend less, and Gen X does not have the financial capacity to fill the gap. Millennials will not be in their prime earning and spending for another 10 years.
There is no one marketing media plan that is the complete answer for your company. When you develop a marketing strategy, reference all the tools and create synchronicity. Associate with marketing partners that elevate the character of your brand, and spend the most money with a tool where your prospects are present. Then speak to your customer in their language.
Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or firstname.lastname@example.org