News flash: all of you who have been doing marketing in order to get an increase in sales or web traffic are barking up the wrong tree.
Marketing is about trust, mindshare and interaction.
Promotion, on the other hand, is what will bring about more sales.
This is a huge realization for me. For years, I’ve been helping clients with their social media, PR and internet marketing. Many, if they don’t see 2,000% growth overnight are disappointed in the efforts. But that’s because their goals aren’t aligned with the efforts.
Let’s talk about those three components I mentioned before.
If you’re driving and you get thirsty, you might stop at a convenience store to buy a drink. It doesn’t matter what convenience store you stop at; they’re pretty much interchangeable. And unless you have some out-of-the-ordinary experience, you likely won’t be back to that store. You’ve built no relationship with that store.
On the other hand, think of your favorite restaurant. There’s a reason (or two) you frequent it. The food might be fabulous. The staff might treat you like family. You might love the ambience. Whatever it is, you’ve established trust that this restaurant will provide you with excellent service each and every time you go in.
That’s what you want to do with your customers: create an experience that keeps them coming back. Make them trust you so they tell others how much they love you.
You have competitors. Everyone does. But the goal is to steal mindshare from them so that you’re the brand people remember positively.
Brands advertise at the SuperBowl, not because they expect people to run out and buy their products immediately, but to gain more mindshare and brand awareness.
Every effort you make, be it updating Facebook or Twitter, putting out a monthly press release or blogging, should be to get people to know you and think of you.
These days, with social media, smart phones and geolocation services like Foursquare, people want to interact with brands. Let them. The only way you know you’ve got a hold on people is if they respond to you. Ask questions on Facebook and see what responses you get. Offer polls. Respond to emails and Tweets. Make customers feel like they’re a part of your company.
But How Do You Measure It?
I’m still having trouble figuring out how to measure all these components. How do you put a price on mindshare? How much is interaction worth? If you have answers to these questions, I’d love to hear them.
In the meantime, shift your thinking away from instant results and toward trust, mindshare and interaction. The sales and traffic will follow.