The days of “speeds and feeds” driving discussions are over, as there has been a major transformation in how business and value are defined. These changes, as well as the role of content marketing, were explored this week at TechMarketing 360 in Dana Point, California.
Today’s “relationship economy” requires marketers to rethink engagement and based on context and relevance, according to Juniper Networks CMO Brad Brooks. Think of the ‘Mac versus PC’ television ads, in which the Apple brand was personified by an individual (actor Justin Long). “When you can start to [personalize] your product and marketing, and how you communicate to customers, you can start to have a relationship,” Brooks noted in his keynote presentation.
Rather than classifying marketing as B2B or B2C, Brooks encouraged marketers to rethink their strategy as B2ME, to center communications on the audience. While we put a great deal of effort into traditional marketing segmentation to support relevant engagements, it’s important to remember that you’re still marketing to people (not just prospects).
“We get so enamored with the information and data sources that we lose sight of the real insight,” Brooks noted. “The need to tell real stories to get customers to interact with a brand doesn’t go way. You have to look at you approach differently.”
In the spirit of rethinking “B2ME marketing”, Brooks offered 5 Keys to adapting your marketing playbook:
- Know and grow- Always attempt to learn more about your customers, but not just on an informational and data level, but on and insight level, so you can tune your message specifically to different audience types. While this may seem obvious, Brooks noted, it’s amazing how many of us marketers still follow a “spray and pray” method of one-messaging framework.
- Target your content not communication noise- To realize the full value of your customer relationships, ensure that you’re segmenting your content delivery mechanisms, as well as your message.
- Watch your language- Know your role in the discussion, and establish parameters to help understand when it’s important to speak technically, and when you should be more conversational. For example, you may not need to switch up the content assets you’re delivering, but instead the message you use to explain the value in it for different audiences.
- Control freaks need to let go- This isn’t an ideal, but a reality of the world we live and engage with our audiences in. Content is not our own when we put it out there, and our digital footprint can live on a lot longer. We don’t always have the ability to control the guidance of our message, but always listen and don’t wait to react.
- Take a risk- Don’t be afraid to fail! Risks often enable marketers to see real rewards in better serving their audiences. “In today’s marketing environment, you’re not going to get ahead unless you take the risk and get your message out there in new and unique ways,” Brooks noted.
Follow the event hashtag on Twitter #TM360 for more marketing insights.