Dear Team: This was a good exercise for me to articulate our position and beliefs about today’s marketing. I thought I would share my answers with you, to spark discussion at our agency. We are on the cutting edge of a new marketing century, and each of you is breaking new ground every month. We should all revel in the knowledge that we are making history at HyperDrive … people in Cincinnati will talk about us in the years to come as the pioneers of a new industry in this area.
1. What are the most exciting changes occurring in your industry right now?
Marketing Directors and C-Level executives are realizing that the Internet and social media are changing everything about how their business interacts directly with customers and prospects. This realization is driven by the proof they can readily see in sales results and customer acquisition metrics. So, this leads to re-thinking strategy to be more customer-centric – by investing in excellent customer care, by sending personal and relevant communications, and by recognizing the individual value a customer holds for current and future profits. This is revolutionary for the enlightened and treacherous for the ignorant. Customer relationships and expectations have shifted radically from the “stare and buy” mass ad heavy marketing of the 20th century, to a customer-driven relationship model built on trust, value and convenience for the customer.
2. Have you seen a shift in the types of customers you are servicing?
Yes. Our clients have shifted toward those who rely upon consistent repeat purchases from a loyal base of customers. These marketers need to acquire, retain and grow direct relationships with customers by being more responsive to their individual needs instead of treating all contacts with the same generic content, offers, information and brand messages.
3. What are the biggest challenges facing your industry as a whole?
The Advertising industry is a mess right now. The big agencies are trying to adapt an old model to a new problem and most are failing miserably. Clients are challenging long accepted norms in the “ad game,” such as, what is the return on investment for my advertising dollars? As the power shifts away from the one-stop “Ad Men” agency paradigm, clients will be faced with selecting partners to help them go to market in new ways and with different focal points for marketing communications.
4. Have your recommendations for customers changed in the past couple of years, and if so, how?
Actually no they have not. We have been telling clients to focus on their individual customers for more than 10 years now. The difference today is that they are more actively adopting our advice, shifting marketing investment from short-term campaigns to long-term customer engagements. Our clients are also listening to us more closely after they have seen the tangible results produced time and again.
5. How are you positioning your company for growth as the economy recovers?
By taking the advice we give our clients: Focus on Your Most Valuable Customers. Our client’s rely upon us to manage their online presence and customer-facing communications to advance their relationship with repeat customers. We do the same by investing to truly understand our client’s business and the dynamics of their customers wants and desires. This knowledge allows us to deliver the results and ROI they expect, so they continue to invest with us growing our own business in turn.