Yesterday, simply shouting was enough to get results. Today, we live in a world where most people actively resist marketing messages.
Close the pop-up window. Skip past the commercials when watching the show that you recorded yesterday. Check your Facebook messages when the game cuts to an ad break.
We don’t care about marketing because most marketing doesn’t care about us. Most marketing is about how great the company that’s trying to push their message thinks that they are.
If I’m working from home on a weekday, I never answer the home telephone. Never. Why? Because anyone who knows me knows that if they need to get hold of me they need to email me, call my cellphone, or call my home office number. If it’s a weekday and the home phone rings I pretty much know that it’s a telemarketer calling. So I never pick up the phone.
Even if you get their attention, the people who are listening to you resent you for interrupting them. I don’t care if the person on the end of that telemarketing call wants to sell me a goose that lays golden eggs for $10. The very fact that I’ve had to stop what I was doing to answer the phone, only to then realize that it’s someone peddling something, means that I’m NEVER going to buy whatever it is that they’re selling.
So if, as a society, we’re actively filtering-out “push” marketing techniques, how does a company get their wares in front of new customers?
- Do we need to throw money at the problem? Usually not.
- Do we need to throw more people a the problem? Rarely.
- Do we need to employ a hip and cool marketing company? Probably not (unless it’s us)./li>
What we need to do is stop marketing at people. Instead, we need to create an environment where customers will market our stuff to each other. For free. Yes, you read that right.
No-one believes what companies say any more. But we do believe what our friends say. More than that, we even have more faith in the views of complete strangers than we do with companies. If I read ten rave reviews on Amazon about a product that I’m thinking of buying, that most certainly influences my purchasing decision.
Word of mouth is nothing new. It’s just that the mechanism for getting your voice out there has changed. In addition, you can now be heard by a lot more people than you ever could before.
Why is Facebook, which recently filed for an IPO, valued at $100Bn when it only made $1Bn last year and had R&D expenses alone of $114 million? One of the reasons is that Facebook is on target to have one billion users later this year. According to Pew Research, the average Facebook users reach is 648.
Word-Of-Mouse beats word of mouth hands-down.