Do your customers invite you in?

The problem with marketing in today’s cluttered advertising environment is that just as you are attempting to engage with your customers and get the word out about your brand, so are 5000 other companies. Author, speaker and consultant Steve Yastrow proposes turning traditional marketing models on their heads: focusing less on getting the word out and more on letting the word in. 

Ultimately, what Yastrow is proposing is a process that matches the way in which customers make purchasing decisions by putting the power in their hands. It’s a trend that is fuelled by the Internet (where the consumer makes all the choices), but is not limited only to Internet searches. Ultimately, it’s the acknowledgement that customers make the decisions about what marketing messages to let in, and which to ignore. 

Traditionally, customers have been seen as the passive recipients of brand messages. But today’s consumer is far more savvy – they are active, purposeful and deliberate participants when it comes to what information they engage with. They have the power to decide – and they use it.

According to Yastrow, at the moment a customer opens the door to allow information in, your business needs to be there. Whether they’re doing an Internet search, visiting a trade show, or simply browsing a shopping centre – you need to be accessible when customers are actively and purposely looking for something that you could potentially help them with. It is at this point that a customer is most receptive to your marketing message. 

It’s all about being where the customer needs you, when they need you. You need to approachable, responsive to their needs, and your message must be clear and user friendly. Ask yourself: are your marketing activities about getting the word out, or letting the word in? Are you making it easy for your customers to invite you into their space? And how compelling is your messaging once they do?

Today’s digital era has created an age of sceptical, self-reliant customers who are highly unlikely to be motivated by traditional ‘get the word out’ marketing. Throwing brand messages at them will only cause them to put up defensive shields and ignore you. The solution? Focus on making it easy, accessible and compelling to provide information about your brand, products and services. If you do this, you’ll be far more likely to cut through the clutter, and in so doing, your customers will become interested in you and buy from you. 

Read the full story here.