It’s the digital equivalent of eyes glazing over, that unfortunate side-effect when a conversation you think is interesting is boring the other person.
And the effect is bad enough when it’s face to face with just one person (especially if it’s your partner). Imagine the compound effect over thousands of prospects, some of whom might love you, some of whom might want to love you, some of whom are wary of you, and some who are just downright hostile. McGraw-Hill Magazine’s famous print ad. springs to mind.
Even with the advent of the Internet, on-line tools, CRM systems, database management tools, blogs, and more (all now familiar stuff) companies still spend seven-figure sums on digital content and outbound marketing, only to struggle to justify the investment.
Worse, they know it’s not working.
The digital difference then means merely arriving at this sense of unease faster.
But there is another digital difference, the most wonderful asset a marketer could want. The social web is your on-line radar receiver, a means of trapping and making sense of the noise in the digital ether. What’s more, it’s operating in real-time, so you now get closer to prospects and customers as the conversations are taking place.
Mapping individuals to organizations and industry sectors already in your customer database clearly lets you re-cast the messages you want to use with these individuals, potentially to each individual in turn if you wish. And it lets you package products, offers and services in the same way, either to respond to specific opportunities, or to wrap a ‘cover’ round an existing offering to reflect the in-bound insight you’ve just gleaned from the conversations you’re now part of.
When I first wrote about this four years ago, these conversations were couched in terms relevant and meaningful to marketers and, if we were lucky, sales managers. Today, boards are demanding to see the opportunities because they now understand that their organizations can distinguish between those that are immediate and real, and those that are irrelevant. They are quickly qualified because they reflect actual needs being expressed in detail by real people.
As every marketer knows, it’s good to get as close to reality as possible.