Marketers aren't in control anymore, and they can't solely focus on promoting and selling in everything they do. The relationship between marketer and audience has changed, and if you've been in it for more than 20 years, you might struggle to adapt.
As Judy Ungar Franks, author and clinical assistant professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University, says - when you apply old-school media thinking to a new media world...nothing happens!
This is a key reason why marketers struggle to meet goals or get the best results from their content marketing efforts. The content on this blog will consider both parties in the audience and marketer relationship.
What changed in the relationship?
In simplest terms, the catalyst of change in the relationship between marketer and audience is the internet. In it, social media, influencer blogs, customer reviews and instant communication gave the consumer more control in the relationship. Marketers had a lot more power when the relationship was more linear, and they could just make sales pitches to a captive audience through TV, newspaper or radio.
Next thing you know, people could skip commercials and turn to the internet as an entertainment option. So, marketers followed them and tried to communicate with them the same way they would on traditional broadcast media. They found out the results are not the same:
As Dr. Franks points out in her book, Media: From Chaos to Clarity: Five Global Truths That Make Sense of a Messy Media World:
Old school marketing was about four Ps: Product, place, price, promotion
There was certainty in every medium, limited selection and media was products
Now it's about the four Cs of social: Content, connecting, community, curating
Media are strikingly similar (it's all on screen)
Media don't compete (they combine them all for a comprehensive, engaging experience) Consumers are the distributors and accelerants of your content
What Do Consumers Want in a Realtionship?
If the "sell" or "pitch" is the end goal, you can't spend all your time focused on that part of the conversation. However, recognizing the change in the relationship is only half the problem. The second half deals with a crowded room of people trying to build a relationship with the same consumer. If everyone is talking the same way, it's harder to make the case that you're the right one for them.
One of the best ways to optimize communication in a relationship is remembering to put yourself in the other person's shoes. This relationship is no different. You have to think like a marketer and a consumer.
When you're not thinking like a marketer, you and your audience probably have similar attitudes, emotions and reactions to online content:
Talking about conceptual creativity, engaging content and pop culture.