How to get marketing right. You can’t shove it down our throats anymore, we just have too many options for our attention. It’s official the hard sell is dead. Your customers need you to fulfill one of their needs. They need you to give them something they can learn from or use.

Middle of Nowhere.

The middle of nowhere.

A recent example of this in my own circle of life is on Facebook. I happen to be a person with a diverse set of friends and they have an even more diverse set of viewpoints. With the latest election and now the extension of politics into everything from gun control to healthcare my friends are commenting and once in a while share their viewpoints on those issues. I am all for it. Up until two of my “Facebook” friends decided to inundate me with their viewpoints. They are polar opposites on politics and both flood my updates feed with 5-10 posts of pins and posts and pictures that argue their side of things. Can we say information overload? Instead of converting me to be on their side I want nothing more than to run to a safe place where the posts are actually relevant and interesting to me. So yeah, Facebook has gone down a couple notches at least in my book of places to find good content I enjoy. Bummer, but it’s the truth. Too much stuff I don’t want or need is thrown at me.

So enters the lesson on marketing. If you try to shout louder than the other person who is trying to do the same you only end up hoarse and with no audience. Good marketing actually involves this beautiful skill called listening and then answering appropriately to the need expressed. This is the future of marketing. Listen up and listen good. The customer is always right. Why? Because the customer has a need and wants it met. Whether its expressed loudly or softly this is what drives their behavior and indeed this is what drives most of us on a daily basis. And if you don’t listen up then your customer or client is already off to the next attention grabbing thing. Our job in marketing is to listen to the customer. Let them drive. Give them the power they wish they had over the mounds of wrong advertising for them and let them show you what they really want. Once they do they will gladly commit their time, attention and money to own and promote that love, need or interest.

Marketing and advertising are ripe for yet another startup company to come in and disrupt the big ad servers and marketers business model with one that focuses more on giving all the control and power of the data to the consumer to make the decisions on who can market to them and when.

– Heather Yelifari
2 Percent Consulting