This is so common-sense, and simple, and so awesome in its simplicity, that I had to share it here. In hopes more marketing will be done like this.
Effectiveness Comes from Credibility and Influence, not Control
If you're trying to influence the customer, you have to be much more attentive to their needs and perceptions. You need to send them information they care about, and even invited you to send. You need to build your stature as a source of industry best practices, not just "the best product." Even if all you do is sell product, the goal is to be viewed as a credible resource, not just a purveyor. Being a market leader means:
- Being relevant, having information that matters
- Forming and leading a community of interest (3 separate links there)
- Paying attention to the customer's emotional state, and reframing your benefits to meet their personal needs
- Providing a tiny and appropriately timed bit of hype
- Presenting your messages in the sequence and timing that fit the customer's decision process, not your selfish need to sell
- Measuring your place in the customer's mind through social media sentiment and buzz metrics, rather than "awareness surveys"
- Building trust
- Cultivating and leveraging positive references.