The Cloud Marketing Mantra

Patrick HanlonMarch 27, 20243 min

Trust in traditional institutions has plummeted. Trust in corporations, government, and media are at all-time lows. And, of course, people still don’t trust advertising.

People don’t believe what you have to say. They believe what others have to say about you.

We have to retrain people to understand that in the digitally generated worlds (including social, w3, VR) marketing as a practice no longer exists.

People exist. Products themselves are merely objects intertwined within people-populated moments shared across social, digital, and traditional platforms. Sometimes these products become positive puff points on our shared streams. Sometimes not.

If you must advertise (via online video ads, digital out-of-home, video streaming, digital media story ads, sponsored events or good ole linear tv advertising), fix your strategy. Don’t advertise to get new customers — advertise to keep the customer you already have.

That customer is singular, individualized, personal. Keeping that customer means having an advocacy strategy — getting your customers talking about you, suggesting you, embellishing you, waving their arms in your direction, which leads to more new customers.

If everyone is doing it, it must be good.

Want to be authentic? Let your customer do your marketing for you. Mostly, because they’re better at it than you are. Here’s a quick paragraph (or two) on how to get that done.

Creative strategies are typically built from fog. The fog is not knowing (exactly) what motivates your Users (customers, consumers) to choose your product rather than just skipping over you and buying rain boots instead. (If you’re in NYC today.)

The key is learning to adapt to customer needs. Learning comes from asking consumer Zealots — your mouthy WOM advocates — what makes you sticky. (You’ll be amazed at the responses.) Build from those VOC insights.

Then do this. Now that you know all about your Zealots, ask Potential Zealots what holds them back from fitting your product into their life more often. In other words, Why aren’t they Zealots? (You’ll be amazed at the responses.) If you’re already doing this and not improving your life, you need a consult.

Anyone measuring advocacy? Research guru Joel Rubinson says, “Math could explain a nonzero transition probability from noncustomers to customers. As soon as that is accepted, it’s not a matter of if, but when.”

Then, it’s about retention. Keeping existing customers should be happening while you sleep. Being intentional matters. Help them to stay engaged (e.g. gamification). Be persistent about it (people need to see you across five different media). Stay attentive and be conscious when they move to other media platforms. Keep the people who desire you, believe in you and feel they belong with you, informed, inspired, happy.

What joy.

Since these people are already eager to participate in your community, give them more reasons to stay. Knock their socks off.

And, stay they might.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Patrick Hanlon, Author of Primal Branding

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