From Interruption to Participation

By joanne | 9th August | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training

It used to be the case that companies simply had to interrupt their prospects to persuade them to buy.  We used advertising to catch them on the way to work, whilst listening to the radio, watching TV or reading a newspaper.  We were so determined for our message to be heard we made the adverts louder than the programmes and used billboards and jingles to shout ‘look at me’ and stand out from all the other messages prospects were being bombarded with.

How times have changed. And for me, they’ve changed for the better.  Customers now have an endless source of information about products they might like to buy.  They can review them on forums and ask their friends about which they’d recommend.  They can ‘Google’ the brand and test how socially aware a company is.  And, ultimately, they have the power to decide who they buy from.

Convenience is king – and the internet has brought that in spades.  It’s changed the way our high streets look and created a whole new raft of brands unheard of 10 years ago.  Most companies now have a large number of competitors; some online and some offline and, unless you’re doing something unusual, it’s very difficult to stand out from the crowd.

Generalist services and companies have given way to niche products and services.  Customers like to know you understand their particular wants and needs and can offer them better customer service.  The plus side is that they’ll then share you with their friends online – provided you make it easy for them to do so.

Kevin Roberts, worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi said in a recent interview “We’ve moved from an attention economy – where marketing was about interrupting people – to a participation economy, where people want to pass on things they like to a friend”.

What exciting times we live in…We hope you’re taking advantage of those changes in your business.

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