Fred and I have been talking a lot about our marketing strategy for World Wide Creative lately and as such have been planning changes to our Website, The Heavy Chef Project, Advertising and the usual marketing mix. The problem I sometimes have with marketing is the focus it places on selling rather than the buying process. Or should I rather say; the problem I have when I do marketing.
The web has changed dramatically over the last couple of years and the idea of “if they see me they will buy” just doesn’t ring true. The consumer no longer responds to the TV ad by rushing out and purchasing the latest product – in fact they haven’t done that for quite a while now. They are information gatherers, a tribe that absorbs thousands of messages a day, sifts through them sub-consiously and retains what is applicable to them. Each one is an individual, each one choosing to retain that message for a different reason to the next. How then is it possible to put up a sign with a picture of your product and a snappy line that say “we make your dreams come true” going to work?
We have to understand each and every one of our potential buyers and more importantly the process they take to buy our product or service. We need to ensure we are part of that information gathering process so that when they are at the point of saying: “Yep I’m ready to buy now” our product/service is in front of them. To do this we need to intricately understand the route they take, the alley ways and paths they go down, whilst subtly persuading them along the way.
This is much easier said than done as it requires an extreme amount of planning. If we are designing and implementing a web strategy for a client, it is almost impossible to persuade them that 2/3 months worth of analysis, research, brain storming and getting into the minds of their users is required before we can even tell them how there website/blog/web marketing is going to work. The reason being is one still views the web from an “old” marketing perspective: If I place an ad in a paper people will buy my product – if I put up a website people buy my stuff.
I am really looking forward to the next couple of years and seeing how the growth of Web 2.0 changes the way businesses not only think about the web but marketing as a whole.