INTERVIEWER TO A CANDIDATE,
“DO YOU HAVE ANY LEADERSHIP QUALITY?”
THE CANDIDATE REPLIED,
“I BELIEVE SO. I HAVE 87 FOLLOWERS ON FACEBOOK.”
This joke illustrates how digitization has impacted our everyday lives. Something we do first thing in the morning is to check our mobile phone’s notifications. While working, eating, even in a close social gathering, we tend to check our cell phones repeatedly. ‘What did I miss? What did I miss?’- the almost pathological urge to stay connected with the virtual universe of the good, bad and ugly facts is hard to hide. What makes the scenario much worse is our tendency to believe almost everything we come across on the platform that now boasts 22 million active users from Bangladesh. Call it naivety or just a knee-jerk reaction to a post that probably has “likes” from a good number of friends and thousands of other strangers. The next action is to share the content, leaving no stone unturned to make it viral.
IT’S TIME FOR THE 365-DAY MARKETING APPROACH
One of the commonly and frequently used IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) terms is the 360-degree marketing approach. Yes, 360 means using all possible communication channels at once to push individual message(s). It’s certainly a good idea, and I’m not against it, but in this fast moving digital world where the customers have so many exciting things to remember, I think the time has come for us to bring changes in our approaches to disseminate a message. Forget 360-degrees; the focus should rather be on a 365-day approach. This procedure means, every day you will have to have something new to tell, to keep your customers engaged through excitement, motivation, and awareness. It’s not an easy task, but brand managers have to do it.
So, how do you do it? You cannot give out advertisements every day. What is the way out then? Social Media? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. are doing excellent jobs in this regard. It is easier, relatively cheaper and useful in many ways. Now, the big question is “how are you dealing with this massive opportunity?”
UNDERSTANDING THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE LIKES
To me, LIKEs on social media are similar to the CGPA of a fresh graduate. CGPA is important. One needs to keep relatively better CGPA to get noticed by potential employers. But the CGPA will never be the final parameter to judge how the fresh graduate will perform in the workplace. Similarly, a Facebook Like is important. But so is analyzing the demographic who are giving those Likes. On many of occasions, advertisers produce contents for the sake of having content rather than having the intention to offer a relevant message that caters to customers’ particular interests. Then they tend to spend dollars to boost those posts. However, the fact is no matter how unintelligent it sounds in most of the cases, Likers are unsure about why they are Liking something in the first place. Which is why, I strongly feel that content makers and advertisers should prepare posts that attract their audience to remain engaged, and if possible, on occasion to co-create and co-promote. Having done so, the final act should be to render your acknowledgment to those aware followers for their conscious participation.
When you are in the digital marketing space, you must have a customer-centric mindset. “
THE VISION THING & THE DEMAND OF THE WOW FACTOR
I am not a digital marketing expert. Yes, I have attended a few digital marketing seminars and workshops, and I have learned a lot of things from those seminars. But I think most of them focus on the technical sides of digital marketing. But is this an advertiser’s job to learn how JAVA works or how to make the coding easier or how to increase the number of visitors on my website? I don’t think so. There are agencies to take care of the technical parts. Marketers should be focusing more on the strategy, content, simplicity, target audience, etc. I call it ‘the vision thing.’ Marketers should be deciding what they want to achieve; not how to achieve (to some extent). But unfortunately, I see many marketers are too busy addressing the technical parts and ignoring the basics (in my words, ‘the vision thing’). Over the years, the media consumption patterns have changed. But the ‘need’ for consuming media remains the same. Most of the time, it’s purely for entertainment, i.e. humor, news, sports, music, movies, reality shows, etc. Having said that, the rise of infotainment adds a new dimension to the game.
In all these items, we look for one common thing: the wow factor. In the age of information overload, without the wow factor, brand managers and content makers are posed with a challenge that is getting more and more complicated every day: how to add zing, so the consumers keep coming back to the content!
CUSTOMER CENTRIC DESIGN IS THE KING
When you are in the digital marketing space, you must have a customer-centric mindset. Otherwise, you can never reach your goals. Focus, market/customer understanding, customization, engagement, and consistency are equally vital for becoming successful in this space. You should also try to use your logic while designing a marketing campaign and/or prepare a budget for the products. Put a lot of WOW elements in your communication; influence the influencers (opinion leaders) to get the best possible mileage and co-create to ensure maximum participation. Your primary focus should be to earn the love of the customers; the rest will come automatically.