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Avoiding Marketing Extinction: 3 Keys to Surviving and Thriving

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
12 December 2012

Today, marketers must adapt or risk going the way of the dodo. Biological changes are making old marketing strategies extinct. In this new marketing world, we can either change or become outdated and outmanned — or even worse, irrelevant.

Darwin first coined the term “natural selection” when talking about a key mechanism of evolution. What are the environmental conditions that are changing the buying process and leading marketers to the point of survival of the fittest? The big three to consider are:

  • Social networking: The world is now a global village, and through social networking, consumers create their own unique environment where they have access to unlimited information, choices and opinions.
  • Mobile computing: With the proliferation of smartphones, this global village is now accessible any time, from anywhere, and on any device. As a result, information is always available.
  • The advent of the self-service customer: Today’s customer doesn’t wait to be offered this information. He or she takes it.

So, with all this knowledge and power at customers’ fingertips, what do they want from businesses today?

They want to be educated. They want to work with companies that understand what they value and how they behave. And they want quick, timely information and support. Fortunately, the same environmental shifts that are complicating marketing efforts have also provided us with a wealth of opportunities to engage with customers.

Research shows that 57 percent of customers have made a decision before a salesperson is involved. Marketers need to get involved earlier, but knowing how – and with what information – to reach these newly empowered customers is where savvy marketers can create a competitive advantage.

The secret is creating new content that’s relevant to an individual on that individual’s device of choice – at the right time. This is behavioral marketing, and it’s the key differentiator between survival and extinction. Here are three key steps for surviving and thriving in this new marketing world:

1) Build a persistent database: Marketers can now use existing analytics and tracking software to collect a multitude of customer information. This is the time to move away from static lists and toward a centralized persistent database that’s constantly pulling in new information about your contacts, such as whether they clicked on your email, visited your new product page, requested a demo and much more.

2) Embrace automation: Today, only 5 percent of companies have marketing automation software in-house. That means you have an opportunity to get a huge edge on the competition by combining a persistent database with the power of marketing automation. With the right technology in place, you can build rules that enable you to serve up dynamic content and automatically route contacts down different messaging paths depending on their actions.

3) Deliver relevant content: If you want to engage customers and prospects in today’s ultra-competitive landscape, it’s essential to provide the content your contacts want, when and how they prefer it. Equipped with a behavioral database and marketing automation, you can deliver content based on each individual’s buying habits, product preferences, mobile environment of choice, financial parameters and purchasing timeline. In short, behavioral marketing drives relevant content, which boosts engagement, encourages social sharing and increases revenue.

As the buyer’s journey continues to become more digital and self-service based, marketing skills need to change. With the right technology and strategy, you’ll become a welcome part of the buyer journey, providing an intimate customer experience and delivering the right content at the right time in the purchasing cycle.

By building a persistent database, embracing marketing automation and delivering relevant content, you can harness the power of behavioral marketing and overcome today’s evolving marketing and sales challenges.

Adapt or die. Are you a survivor?

For more insights on thriving in today’s marketing world, check out my recent Webinar, “It’s What You Know About Who You Know: 5 Steps for Turning Data into Revenue.”

Related Resources:
1) Blog: “The New Sales and Marketing ROI: Return on Relationship
2) Blog: “The 4 Reasons I Decided to Go for Gold by Joining Silverpop
3) White Paper: “6 Marketing Trends for 2013 – and Tips for Succeeding in the Year of the Customer

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