Saturday, June 25, 2005

Marketers Need to Invent New Ways
to Get Our Messages to our Customers

The battle is nearly over. The customer has all but won. Customers can strip advertising out of their lives at will. In print, we scan past the ads. On television, we TiVo them. Online we launch our ad blockers.

Now that does not mean we don't watch the television shows, read the newspapers and magazines, read the websites and blogs. We find great value in the free content -- as long as we can block out the advertising.
But in a world with no advertising, who will pay to produce the content we all want to absorb?

Doc Searls discusses the dilemma in an excellent post.

How will we as marketers who are trying to simplify how we go to market, how will we endure. It is a problem we must resolve.

For me, it is making our advertising, promotions and public relations initiatives more valuable than they are today. We need to see these ads from the customer's point of view, and build value into them. We will need to innovate a new way of communicating. This is an exciting proposition, but the rules are changing, and changing fast.

We can take a lead from some early movers -- the pharmaceutical companies. They have shifted from marketing to the physicians and now go direct to the consumer. They appeal to our concerns. They provide programs to educate those specific individuals who are most in need of the knowledge and ignore the rest of us. Then they launch compliance programs to help motivate the consumer to stay on the proper medication program as recommended by the physician. All of this is adding value to just the people who need the help.

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