Marketing for me has always been all about the customer. My philosophy is to build your whole business around your customer’s world for without them you and your business would be nowhere.
I have watched too many companies go about business as if they believe themselves to be indispensable in the customer’s life and in the end – they face the hard reality that they are quite easily replaced by the next business with a similar product or service who go out of their way to show their customers, their suppliers and their staff just how much they care about them.
“If you don’t care about me – I won’t care about you…if you can’t be bothered to listen to me or ‘see’ me and my needs, I will vote with my time, my wallet, my loyalty and these days, my Google review.”said a disenchanted customer to a business who just didn’t care enough…
Marketing in the 20th century involves finding a way to meet the customer where they’re at in their life. It involves aligning with their beliefs, their lifestyles and their views on life in general. This might not always align with how you’ve been thinking about your own brand or product and how you’d like to communicate your offer – in fact, I would like to wager a guess that if you’re really honest with yourself – 9 times out of 10 it’s completely the opposite.
What does your customer think about? What keeps them up at night? Where do they spend their time? What are their habits, rituals and traditions? Do they need what you’re offering? Do they like the way you offer it to them? Is there room for you, your brand, your service or your product in their lives? Can they afford it? Are they happy to aspire to owning or experiencing it?
Take a look at your brand name, your products, your services and your brand experiences – how is your customer responding to you, your marketing and the actual purchasing experience with you and your business… have you asked? Are you interested? I heard a client say – “If it’s not broken – don’t break it.” My feeling is that that’s just a cop-out – not broken for whom? What if it could in fact be better, smarter, more for less…better for your staff, your customer and your suppliers…The cost of change can be daunting but the cost of loss through the lack of change is absolutely devastating.
The world we live in is becoming aware of the wrongs that beset our communities, our people, our land the animals that share this world with us. There’s no hiding from it these days – social media and the digital world has made sure that there are no secrets from anyone any more. As we are very well aware – what happens in Vegas almost never stays in Vegas – it is trotted out on everyone’s social media profile for the world to see and read and there is nothing quite as damaging as a socially dammed business.
So, in the spirit of ‘evolving harmoniously’ to coin a phrase used by one of our clients – Daniel Coetzee – I would like to invite all businesses to consider the need to shift their focus towards conscious communications and marketing. Conscious communications and marketing is a more mindful approach to marketing – an approach that puts people in the middle of the sacred circle that surrounds the company or brand with all the energy focussed on cultivating long and meaningful relationships with its community. Do not be deceived by the word ‘community’. The word community does not in fact define the size of the group of people in the sacred circle – community defines the group ethos, the shared beliefs, shared traditions, rituals, habits, lifestyles and life-cycles even. That for me is what makes a community a community … it is an infinite group of humans and animals that come together in an understanding of one another’s needs, desires, hopes, dreams, and includes all that is theirs – homes, cars, parks, schools, roads, digital matrixes and so on and so forth – it includes all that is required to allow this community to flow in an easy, healthy, harmonious and symbiotic way.
So if we consider the fact that our audience is in fact a living, breathing, conscious, and evolving human being living in a community that is ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-evolving – how can we keep doing the same thing – day in and day out – expecting increase, growth, prosperity and success – yet – not quite giving them what they actually want from us. Why do we waste time and money patting ourselves on the back for what we know, and what we do, and what we offer and what we can teach them… and instead why don’t we show them. Walk the talk, add the much-needed value, give of ourselves and our knowledge, teach, and DO more – instead of dreaming up social media themes, new logos, new products, new shop layouts, new AI concepts etc. etc. that are designed to appease a budget and a client – rather than a potential customer that is in need of real help, real value, transparency, vulnerability, authenticity and proper support.
If you want to increase your marketing reach and success – give a shit! Care. Become truly, authentically conscious and mindful of what’s going on outside your office door – reach out, touch someone’s life. Make a difference – it’s not just a PR opportunity – it’s what you’ve been called to do as a human and fellow journeyman and woman.
Become consciously aware of your consumption of goods, materials and stock footprint. Reduce all excesses where you can. Join hands with your community – in sickness or in health, richer or poorer to make a difference to the sacred circle you call your community.