Its goal was to scream, “Look at me!” so the consumer would pay attention.
But there was madness in this method.
Each successive ad had to outdo anything that came before it. Pretty soon, benefits were inflated, promises were invented, and reality was pretty much chucked out the window.
It’s about time things changed.
The balance of power has shifted
The internet, mobile devices and social media let people connect on a different level. Consumers now have a voice, and they know it.
It isn’t marketers who control what’s being said any more. People direct the conversation, and if they don’t like something you’ve said or done, it can go viral in a matter of hours.
People don’t want hype. They want the truth: Will your product do what you promise it will do.
And since they don’t trust advertising any more, they turn to people they know, like and trust to help them make wise buying decisions. In most cases, that’s their friends and family.
But not always.
Social media can transform you into a friend
The most amazing thing about the changes that are taking place is that a business can now be one of the Trusted Ones.
Content marketing and social media have changed things. Google’s algorithm changes are also helping. It all drives more honest, transparent marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, direct response still works. But it has to tone down the hype. It has to make more reasonable promises and prove all of them.
People don’t want you to tell them you have a good product. They want information. They want to make up their own minds, so they need details about your industry, your product, your competitors’ products, product review, industry standards, and more.
The trouble is, they don’t have time to absorb that much information, so they want someone they trust to compile and interpret the data, then guide their decision making.
Ironically, while people don’t trust advertising, they do trust a company that provides useful content. They trust a business that’s active in social media and listens to them.
If the company talks like a real person, helps them and cares about them like a real person, that company can actually become a “friend.”
It’s all about trust.
How do you earn that level of trust?
It’s not as hard as you might think:
- Be consistent.
- Don’t over-promise.
- Do over-deliver.
- Be accessible.
- Treat people with respect.
- Give as much as you take.
- Share what you know.
Old-style business worried that if you didn’t charge for everything, you were leaving money on the table. But things are different now.
In most cases, sharing your expertise and knowledge leads to more business, not less. Valuable content proves you know what you’re talking about. Social media interactions demonstrate that you’re accessible.
It may feel that you’re giving something away, but the Law of Reciprocity usually kicks in. People reward generosity with long-term relationship.
So go for it. Be relational. Try new marketing. You may find you’re more profitable, not less.