Next to making a sale of any kind, marketing is the most intimate and personal thing you will ever do in your business.
Your website, blog, social media, print advertising; it doesn’t exist for you, it exists for those who need what you have to offer.
So let me ask you; do you see your marketing as a one-way street where you simply tell people what you do or what you sell and just expect them to buy from you?
That’s the great dilemma isn’t it?
As I’m researching and writing my new book (I’ll share about that later in the article) I came across an extremely interesting article titled “The Future of Marketing” by Betsy Holden in which her main point is:
“The most important point I made during my time at the conference was that marketing in many people’s minds is little more than communications and advertising. It’s viewed as a tactical communications function rather than a strategic growth driver.
We have to re-position marketing as a strategic role that drives above-market growth based on a deep knowledge of the customer.”
She will go on to say:
“The digitization of the customer decision journey has made it so much easier for people to research and buy different products. At the same time, that trend has unlocked an unprecedented degree of insight into what people really want.”
For those of you who read my blog often you’ll discover a few noticeable themes. It’s our job to discover and communicate to what people really want, not what we want to sell them.
In order to do that, we have to learn the shift in marketing from the old one-way mass marketing model to one that is a two-street and is taking place collaboratively.
What Does Marketing Really Do?
In a real sense, marketing allows us to share how we make a difference in the world and it helps us discover our purpose and mission in life and business.
Your business does not revolve around products and services, it revolves around helping people. Otherwise, there would be no need for your business.
Yet, we market online as if it’s all about us.
In essence our websites, blogs and social media say nothing, mean nothing and help no one.
The majority of them are still basically static mass marketing tools that are trying to appeal to the masses instead of to those who are specifically and intentionally looking for your product or service.
As I will share in my ebook, 300+ years of mass marketing is a one-way communication tool that has programmed our minds to think in terms of features / benefits / price.
This is designed to appeal to a broad audience but does not necessarily incentivize anyone to buy from us, it’s merely attempting to make the audience aware that we exist.
But I ask the question; “So what?”
The internet is transforming the way we interact and engage with prospects and customers and has truly transformed it a two-way street.
Your business is just one part of the whole. It’s not just products or services; marketing is really about countless relationships that work with you in collaboration to make a difference for someone who is in need of what you have to offer them.
You may not have considered this, but you ought to always be in collaboration with:
- Social media
You are always working with these different set of people to solve a problem and make a difference in their lives or business. What might collaboration look like with each one of these groups:
- Vendors –supplying a stream of business to them so that they can help you.
- Employees –paying them to help you achieve your mission and purpose as you help your customers solve their problems or live their dreams.
- Prospects –engaging with them and showing them competently how you can solve their problems or make their lives better.
- Customers –already solved their problems, earned their trust and started building a relationship with them that creates friendships and loyalty and gives them a reason to buy again and tell everyone they know about how great you are!
- Marketers – Connecting together and promoting one another and sharing how new strategies are helping to grow your businesses
- Bloggers – Networking with influencers and sharing audiences with one another by commenting, sharing on social media and including them in your blog articles.
- Social media – engaging with people in various conversations that enrich and make their lives better and giving them a reason to share your business with their friends.
When marketing is a two-way street you join with others to help them flourish. When you’re a hoarder you grow slower, cash flow comes in slower and your business is on the path the closing. This is the essence of what it means to have a great economy where people benefit one another and in the end help each other grow in order to fulfill our purpose and mission in life and business.
Collaboration in marketing is changing the way we see and do business with one another and the internet is full of people in your specific target audiences that are looking to do business with you if only they could find you and then be convinced that you are competent enough to help them and earn the right to do business with them.
What Makes Collaborative Marketing Really Work?
Well, just that… being intentional about being collaborative. Where does intentionality start?
It starts with purposefully laying a foundation for your business that enables you to communicate to anyone of the audiences above at any time in a way that helps them feel you understand and care about them.
That requires you to:
- Consider what business you’re “really” in. You have to start thinking like your prospects and customers and communicate directly to and with them about their needs, not your own.
- To know what the tangibles values are that you bring to the table. In other words how do people feel after they’ve experienced you and your products or services and how did you make a difference for them?
- What problems does each tangible value solve? You must know specifically and be able to communicate it in first person as if you’re in their shoes.
- Who do you specifically solve each problem for? This is the process of creating the image of who needs your help. You must be very precise and very specific.
- How are your products or services “a” part of a solution?
Until you know your real foundation as a business, you cannot isolate who or how to collaborate with an audience in a way that is meaningful and full of relevance and inspiration while also being compelling and interesting.
The internet is a face paced, ever changing and unforgiving place. If you miss the mark with any given audience you will almost never get them back and if you do you will have to fight hard for them. It only takes a second for someone to make up their minds about you based on their first observation of your message.
So let me ask you;
Isn’t it better to walk into a collaborative atmosphere already knowing how to communicate about and with your audience instead of exclusively about yourself?
Businesses have learned how to communicate in mass marketing channels about features and benefits but the world around you cares less and less and instead wants to know how you will work with them in order to solve their problems and make their lives better.
No matter what business you’re in or who you serve, you can create policies and procedures that create collaboration in your marketing, not tear it down.
What is the Biggest Killer of Collaboration?
The biggest killer of collaboration is your ego. It believes that no one knows as much as you do or that your way is the only way.
Your ego is nothing more than a destructive force that keeps you from seeing all the possibilities that can make your life and business explode.
Ego and confidence are not the same thing and they should never be confused. Confidence is belief in yourself but it’s not rigid or defensive and it’s always open to ideas and suggestions and making the hard decisions when it’s required.
Being closed minded and negative or convincing yourself that you’re somewhere you are not will keep the right people who can help you from ever getting near you.
The truly great entrepreneurs understand there is a place and time to be firm in your belief about what you are doing and stand firm on what is right for you. But they also understand that there are those who can see things they do not and have great ideas.
But if you are standing firm on all of the wrong things and are unwilling to consider other points of view because you are the “expert”; collaboration will never happen at a level that will allow you or your business to fulfill the potential that you both have to make a difference in the world.
We must never see our businesses as simply a way to “gain.” Instead when we collaborate, give, and network with the right people who are attracted to us and us to them we create the catalyst for true growth.
We gain nothing if our customers and partners feel that we are in it for ourselves.
The old days of mass marketing are dying and they are dying fast.
As proof, an article just the other day in Financial Times discussed the way people are consuming TV content and how the effect is creating incredible tension in the entertainment world as advertising revenues plummet.
“Mr. Juenger at Bernstein Research argues that television is undergoing a “structural” migration from ad-supported networks to streaming video services. “We don’t think those viewers are coming back,” he warns.”
It’s not just TV that is being affected. It’s newspapers, magazines, and various print formats that were once tycoons in one-way mass marketing tools that are all being pushed, squeezed and in some cases media businesses are closing their doors.
What this means for you Mr. or Ms. Business owner or entrepreneur is that the channels to connecting with those who are ready and willing to buy you are becoming more personal and collaborative.
The internet is changing and that’s why I wrote the following articles to emphasize the massive shift that is happening in marketing and the changes you must consider making if your marketing is going to thrive:
The old world of a one-way street of mass marketing is changing rapidly. Fewer and fewer of us are reading newspapers, watching TV commercials, or consuming other forms of mass marketing tools.
Are you ready to make the shift to a two-way street of collaborative marketing between you and those who can help you meet your audience that is ready and willing to buy from you?
If you want to learn more about the shift that is happening to every business in America I’m writing a new book titled “The Shift – The Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing.”
In it we will explore the 300+ years of mass marketing, the mindset that still exists as a result of mass marketing, how to learn collaborative marketing in the shifting landscape, and how to answer the questions about “what business I’m really in” to begin learning how to build a solid collaborative foundation that will help your business through the shift and beyond.
The eBook will be released in the next two weeks. If you would like to know when and where you can get a copy of it when it’s released, please consider joining my email list by clicking on the box below. There may also be promotional pricing when it’s first released so be sure to get that information because it will only be released through my email.
Do you have an idea or comment, I would love to interact with you and get the conversation started below in the comments section.