Is Your Marketing Old School? What About Your Customers?

Photo: UnSplash - Kyle Szegedi

Marketing can be one of those disciplines when tactics and strategies vary greatly based on the industry your business is in. Some businesses prefer traditional media, direct mail and face-to-face personal selling. Others understand going exclusively digital is perfect for the people they want to reach and the message they want to get across. Neither of these are wrong, they're just different.

Have you ever wondered if your marketing was old school? If you're like me, that thought probably crosses your mind about every 5 minutes, and trying to change seems nearly impossible. Regardless of your marketing, it could be considered old school. However, that is only based on your personal impression of what is old and what is new? Also, let's say your business is using what some may say are old-school tactics. Is that a bad thing if your brand is performing well? Hmm.

Your customers are really the best measure of how to gauge
whether or not your marketing is old school or not.

Time To Make A Change?
How do you know if it's time to change your marketing? That's a great question, one that deserves some thought. Here are a few tidbits of information that may help your marketing team decide how to assess the action steps needed to take your business to the next level and start using some of the latest forms of marketing.

1. The first question to ask is: Who is my primary audience? If your target audience is a Millennial, old-school marketing is not what you should be using. Start thinking about how this generation communicates and prefers to engage with the world. You will soon discover traditional forms of old-school marketing are not among their favorite forms of media. Do a little research to see what forms of digital media capture a high percentage of your customers attention.

2. Content Marketing: Is your brand telling a story in ways that attract your target audience (or persona)? This is critical, because if the brand is not doing this, that means your products and services are not appearing online, except for on your website --Yikes... not good. Start spreading the word in all places digital and begin to answer prospective customer questions. Start with the general principle of (Who, What, When Where, Why and How?). If you create content around all of these words and don't make your content sound like a sales pitch, your brand will organically get more exposure online and be shared among your target audience more frequently. This also adds credibility to your brand.

3. Expand Your Digital Footprint: This can mean, place your relevant content on social media channels that connect with your audience. If you want Millennials, that's easy, they are everywhere and getting in front of them means using social media, mobile marketing techniques, blog, video and current responsive website tactics. The goal here is to create as many brand-specific landing pages and experiences online in as many places as possible - and all of this needs to be relevant and point to your brand. Don't forget, this also helps strengthen your SEO ranking.

4. Mobile: This could be the most effective marketing medium ever created. If you're not using it or not considering it, shame on you. Find a way and carve out your own space to generate leads using smartphones. As you know, a high percentage of people in the US carry smartphones and this creates a platform and action that promotes share-ability for your marketing content. Additionally, text messages that users receive typically get read within 3 minutes - wow! Need I say more?

If your brand wants to reach Millennials, take a look at a few
research facts below that support that their lifestyle is purely digital.

Millennial generation and digital:
• 93% are members of a customer rewards or loyalty programs
• 90% have purchased something using a smart phone or tablet
• 87% use social media to find info and share feedback about brands and products
• 88% spend more than $50/month shopping online
• 80% spend more than $50/month on E-tailers (Amazon, eBay)
• 76% would consider shopping on their mobile devices easy
• 74% discover products and services through friends
• 69% look for stores with sales and promotions
Source: BuzzReport

Why Do CMOs Who Want Millennials As Customers Need Mobile Marketing?

In many ways millennials share who they are through their mobile engagements-in both fast paced connections and contexts and in thoughtful comments and conversations. In order for a brand to illuminate its value to this powerful demographic group, brands must move mobile onto the center stage of their approach strategy--if they are to have a shot at earning this very smart audience's attention. But mobile only gets the brand into the right position with millennials--it is through timely genuine, and entertaining, content that a brand can hope to capture and retain the loyalty of this very smart audience.
- Greg Thorson, 3Cinteractive

What Next?
If you made it this far, you have some ammunition to take back to your marketing team that will help them figure out what to do if your brand needs a change, especially if you are targeting millennials.

Start asking questions internally about what data you want to collect and why? Also, think about what social channels you are using. Don't just publish content for the sake of publishing. Post on social channels with a purpose and clear direction. Use social channels that also have the types of users that you want and need. Lastly, think about mobile specific campaigns that will end up in your prospect's smartphone in their pocket or purse. Half the battle is getting your prospective customer to be exposed to your brand. With mobile, you definitely have a fighting chance, one that is clearly going to be around for a long time. Out with the old and in with the new. Thanks to the influential millennial generation, the transition is happening faster than we expected.

Follow Scott MacFarland on Twitter: @scmacfarland