The weather’s been horrific lately. Up here in the Northeast, we’re having some flooding – fairly significant in areas, to the point that some roads in nearby Baltimore were completely washed away. But I’m not a meteorologist, I’m a marketer, and when I see streets overflowing with water, I think about customers facing a tsunami of information.
There’s more content out there than ever before. At no point in human history have we been exposed to so many images, tag lines, articles, videos, posts, Memes, and whatever else people have devised to make their voices heard. It’s a real struggle to stand out.
As always, the big brands are throwing money at the challenge. An upcoming change to YouTube will allow companies with enough money to have their videos shown as “Google Preferred,” alongside heavily vetted & quite popular content. This spares the big brands the embarrassment of lining up next to some of YouTube’s more questionable content.
Other brands are sponsoring entire news platforms, using a veneer of objectivity to promote their corporate messaging: a subtle approach, but one that’s proven to work. GE has considerable experience in this arena – witness their long-standing relationship with NBC – and now has come up with a web version by underwriting Vox.com.
How are you going to compete if you don’t have that kind of money?
Well, there’s some really good news. In the digital marketing environment, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Think about your own relationship with marketing messages. Do you sit there, 100% attentive, to every TV commercial that comes on? Or have they become background noise or something you zip though? What about online? Lots of people have ad blockers, and they’re adept at ignoring the ads on social media.
Maybe big doesn’t work. Maybe what we have to do is go small. Tactics like SMS marketing – sending texts to your customers – work because they’re personal. There’s a real connection between your customer and your brand going on when the conversation is relevant and interesting to them. Targeted campaigns are the future. Technology is giving us amazing tools to tailoring our messaging. Now is the time to learn how to best use them to build your brand.