Marketing and Advertising has been forever changed from products to people.
The 4 P’s of Advertising and Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion, no longer cut it. Product. With the internet every product on earth has been aptly described. Price no longer matters because those shopping on price will buy low. But those wanting service will buy high. Place used to refer to the placement of the product on the shelves. Eye level or end cap got the best buys. Promotion – Advertising, advertising, advertising.
So instead, what should you be doing?
Customization. It’s all about choices today. People want a product that fits their specific needs, not one that is close enough. The more people can customize their product the more they will buy, and buy at a level that might be a little higher than they want, but they will consider the value worth it.
Example: eInsurance has done a great job of explaining that “sorta like you” isn’t you in their marketing messages.
Convenience. People will pay more to have something when they want it. You can search all day for widgets that are just pennies apart on cost, but people will buy the widget that can be sent to their work instead of their home, and sent on the date the widget is required. And often they will buy at a higher price to get what they want.
A good example of convenience can be found on most any website. FREE STANDARD SHIPPING, or pay slightly more to have it shipped overnight.
Service. Likewise with customer service. People will pay more having good service. Little things, like a confirmation email when something is shipped with a tracking number. Or a thank you not inside the package when it arrives. Free gifts that weren’t expected. Service can really change the shape of the marketplace.
For example, I recently purchased a gift for myself on Mother’s Day as a remembrance to the women in my family who have gone before me. The Etsy jeweler I purchased it from, not only sent a handwritten note in the package but in that not referenced the reason I purchased the item.
Message delivery. And the most important thing that has changed in marketing is cross-device messages. This is more than just making sure your email or ad can be seen on a mobile phone. It’s knowing how people use each device, when they use it, and what part of your product story needs to be told on that device. The phone is immediate but also all day long. A tablet might be used at work, or at home after hours only. Laptops might be work only. When is your customer watching television? Is it delayed viewing? What device do they have with them while viewing?
I adore the marketing at Zulily. I see it everywhere, with different messages to me. On Pinterest, I see “My Closet” reminding me of the items I’ve purchased. On Facebook, I’ll se an item that maybe I put in my cart but didn’t purchase. Also on Facebook and in email, I get notices when my card has been run for an item, and when that item has shipped. I even got an email message that and item had not arrived by the shipping date with the chance to cancel my order at no charge. The cancellation notice appeared in email and Facebook messaging! In my emails, I see clothing not only that I would like but is specifically available in my size. And on the phone or on the tablet and laptop, I see advertising on my favorite websites. Zulily is a company that knows where their customers are, how they shop, and what message to send to which place.
Take away. The best advice a marketer can give their client is knowing what messages to deliver, when to deliver them, and how they will be consumed by the various devices on hand. And the best products will be those that offer customization, convenience and service, keeping their customer’s habits in mind when offering up something for purchase.