There was a time, years ago, when marketers believed that targeting the masses was the most effective strategy. Large brand name companies spent millions of dollars to spam the world, and it worked. A company would advertise to millions and millions of people in hopes that a small fraction of them would eventually purchase their product, and guess what, they did. Marketers then used the revenue to reinvest profits in more and more advertisement, and guess what? it worked again.
Seth Godin calls this the T.V. Industrial Complex, and it’s dead.
Welcome to 2008, the age of new marketing. The age where the consumers now have all the power and the consumers tells the marketers what they want. The problem is the marketers aren’t always listening. Consumers have youtube, blogs, and other social media platforms from which they can scream out their distress or satisfaction. Remember Dell Hell?
It used to be that the marketers would tell consumers what to buy, and consumers would listen. Why? because there was no youtube, blogs weren’t popular, and many other social media sites didn’t exist. Consumers didn’t have a voice, the viral spread of ideas wasn’t easy, and so spam marketing was effective. This is how it used to be:
Now that every consumer has a megaphone, the marketers should be listening to us. Many companies just don’t get it, they keep spamming the consumers in hopes of targeting that small group of people that gets funneled out from the top. Well guess what? We are ignoring you. We are talking amongst ourselves now, discussing features and benefits, coming up with ideas for future releases of your product, and comparing you to your competitors. We have blogs and social media sites that we now turn to for advice and information. So how are you going to market to us now? How are you going to convince me that your product or service is better than everyone else’s? The answer is you won’t and you can’t. You don’t have the power anymore. So who does? The group of influencer’s, does; the people that camp out in front of best buy to get that first copy of the Xbox 360, the people who turn up for the Mac World keynote address, the people that are the first to buy and try every product that comes out. This is now the target audience. These are the people who are we are turning to for advice these are the people who we turn to when we want to know how something works or what the problems are.
So what is the new marketing? The new marketing is getting the group of influencer’s to do what they do best, influence the masses. This is a smaller group of people, the people who post reviews on their blogs, the people who create youtube videos, the people who post in the forums and lead discussions. These are the new marketers.
This is the new marketing, welcome!