Gen Wise Perspective

Gen Y's perspective (pun intended) on our journey through work, life, and everything in between.

Archive for the tag “marketing”

What are three biggest challenges marketers face?

This question popped into my head after I stumbled across a Slideshare presentation by Jason Falls called The Marketing of Un-Marketing. Even though it’s from a couple of years ago, I think it brings up some points that are still very valid today…

Such a large portion of the marketing community is talking about how today’s consumer wants communication with a brand to be personalized and relevant to them. Consumers want to be engaged (yeah, I threw that buzzword out there). Consumers want to see compelling content directed toward them as an individual.

So what are the three biggest obstacles holding marketers back from achieving that desired one-to-one connection?

1. Marketers think like marketers

Stop it. Did you forget that we’re all consumers? Next time you sit down to develop a marketing campaign just think of how you’d want to be marketed to as the consumer, or really, just as a person (since “consumers” is really just a fancy marketing way of saying “people”…isn’t it?).

2. Marketers speak like marketers

Marketing professionals tend to get way too caught up in marketing-speak. Unfortunately, your average consumer isn’t interested in high-level, fluffy language. It’s confusing and abstract. Instead of defaulting to the “marketing way” of describing something, ask yourself: “How would I explain this to my family/friends in casual conversation?” Chances are your audience would prefer that explanation too.

3. Marketers act like marketers

Almost everything marketers do (not just professionally) revolves around marketing. Why we like something, what we share via social media, the articles we read, the links we click on, etc. can be tied back to marketing. But remember: not everyone likes this stuff.

Most people don’t eat, drink and breathe in marketing (especially not from the strategic point of view), so they aren’t looking at your campaign thinking, “This messaging is great! I’m very captivated by this call to action.” Or, “I don’t think I’m the target audience for this one.”

It’s more like, “Does this help me get what I need?”… “Is this the right product for me?”… “Will this solve my problem?”

Try to keep it simple and to the point—that’s what will end up resonating with people the most.

Bottom line: If you want to truly connect with a consumer on an individual level, then start considering things from the consumer point of view instead of the marketer point of view.

(Note: I said “we” in this post because I think PR falls under the marketing umbrella. Guilty as charged.)

Why is Scott Stratten so funny?

Because he’s right. And he calls us out.

Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing, came to Rockit in Chicago last night for a stop on his book tour. Jackie and I were lucky enough to get a ticket in to hear what he had to say.

Stratten left us with some great marketing tips and a few good laughs…

“To be awesome at customer service, you just have to be average. Cause everyone else sucks.”

Sad but true, customer service is not the best these days. Being average in a world where most don’t take the time to think about their customers the way they should makes you stand out from the crowd. Why is that? Going back to finding what your customer really needs is a task marketers need to get back to. At the end of the day, they are the ones who make or break your brand.

“Twitter sucks for marketing. It’s awesome for building relationships.”

It’s safe to say I have met some of the best and the brightest people in the industry on Twitter. Why? Because they engage with others that have the same interests as them, answer each other’s questions, and communicate. It sounds simple, but so many people don’t realize the relationships you can build by just saying hello.

“Why people spread things hasn’t changed. The way they spread things has.”

Whether you believe in social media or not, at the end of the day it is a fast, efficient way to spread the things you are passionate about with others. But before social media existed, the same thing occurred.

People were still sharing information, just not at as fast a pace.

“If your niche is people they are there [on social media].”

For people that still don’t believe in social media (or as I like to call them, “haters”), they must be trying to reach out to things other than humans–aliens, animals, etc.–to promote their product or service. Face the music: the world is on social media. And they are all listening. If you are not on there yet you are at least a good two years behind. Get. On. That.

Overall, the event rocked. Shout out to Billy Dec of Rockit Ranch Productions for making that happen. Scott was so friendly and personable, and the crowd loved him. If you haven’t checked out UnMarketing yet, you’re missing out!

What Does “Social” Really Mean Anyway?

Inspired by a Harvard Business Review article, “The Devolving Meaning of Social Media” and a blog post reaction to that article by Matt Cheuvront, I decided that I needed to turn to the dictionary for answers.

Why? Because these people are bringing up some great points – what does social really mean? And, has the definition been tainted by the hype of social media?

Thank you online dictionaries (like, my favorite) for providing these definitions of the word social:

  • “Marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one’s friends or associates”
  • “Of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society”
  • “Tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others of one’s kind”

The last one is my favorite. It gets right to the point: forming two-way relationships with your niche audience. There you go marketers. Merriam-Webster just schooled us.

The point here is that this definition came from the dictionary. It didn’t come from some “expert” or “guru” trying to give you the secret to social media marketing success (because there is no secret). It’s taking a basic principle and applying it to today’s technology and forms of communication. People have always been social and will always have an inherent need to connect with one another, but now a main way we do this is via social media platforms.

Apply that to marketing. The idea of a consumer wanting to make a personal connection with a brand has always been there. All social media does is provide the tools for making that connection. Those tools will continue to evolve and change many times over, but social networking (in some form or another) is here to stay because in its simplest form it’s just…socializing.

So before you get all caught up in “doing social media,” just take a step back and really think about what social actually means. It’s the core definition of the word that really drives the use of social media for marketing purposes, not the other way around.

What’s Up?

This is just an introduction post from Kim and me saying hello to everyone (probably just our moms and co-workers-ha!) reading this blog. The post is entitled “what’s up?” because I don’t know any other generation except for ours that uses the phrase “what’s up?” as a greeting, and because most of our posts will begin with a question instead of telling you how to do things.

You’ll find posts on the blog that talk about marketing strategies (mainly digital), PR tactics, and of course social media. There might be a few other things that fall under the umbrella as well. We’re going to tell it to you from our point of view as Gen Yers. As recent college grads, we’ll also post on breaking into those industries as well as what you can do to succeed in them.

We both wanted to begin blogging because we have lots of thoughts and we’re news/Twitter junkies who can’t get enough of this stuff. But we figured that we should let you know we aren’t trying to be experts — we’re just providing a point of view from a generation that grew up with technology and the Internet (for the most part, anyway).

Kim and I are very friendly, goofy, all-around happy people so always feel free to reach out to us with your thoughts. If you think of a good blog post idea, let us know and we’ll write about it. If there’s something you’re wondering about Gen Y please come to the source. We’ll do our best to guide you.

You can find out more about us on the About Us page. We look forward to engaging with you!

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