Stop Marketing at Customers (and Start Marketing With Them)


My son is almost 12 years old. I showed him this clip on YouTube, when I was asked to look at his laptop last week as Minecraft was “a bit laggy” (young speak for a bit slow)

If you are approaching or over the big “40” you may admit to watching this?  Maybe you watched it for quite a while? It is November 1982. Culture Club are still number one with “Do you really want to hurt me”. Margaret Thatcher is 3 years into her first term. I was 12 years old.

He watched in disbelief as I explained this was my TV viewing when I was 12 whenever there was nothing decent on BB1, BB2 or Granada. The sad truth was every hour on the hour for one minute a pre-roll film would show what the future looked like, and I watched it quite a bit.

Next on the list of things to do was connecting my son’s new Bluetooth speakers for him to Skype his friends on Minecraft. We quickly moved to Spotify to dance around the room a bit and select songs to add to our shared playlist. As a 12 year old my JVC Hi-Fi stack system took up 50% of my floor space. My pulse still races as I think back to deciding when to press pause on the tape deck to keep that favourite song as complete as possible before the annoying DJ came back on air to ruin it.

There are many blogs that try to predict what the future technical and media landscape will look like. None of us really knows how much more connected we will be in 5 years’ time, but our customers will expect us all to adapt our brands and businesses’ faster than we ever have had to do previously. The iWatch will quickly be superseded by a multitude of other gadgetry to be consumed and replaced.

  • So how do you rethink your marketing to this new consumer?
  • What is your content strategy from broadcasting sales messages to the many in four-week bursts to broadcasting tailored social media content to the few, to reach the many every second of every day?
  • What new media and technology platforms does your brand need to plan for right now, and how does your marketing organisation adapt to a consumer that is adapting quicker than you?

Here are our top suggestions for you to put some Flock into your marketing to adapt to the changing customer:

1)      Do not just research your customers about new product ideas, find ways to use social platforms to make your customers into your product owner

If you do it well you can get over 18,000 consumers to evangelise how much they love your new product even before it has ever got to market.

2)      Treat your brand as a bank account

The more you engage your audience the higher the balance. If you do not, you risk going overdrawn and losing your most loyal customers in an instant.

3)      Set up your marketing team and agencies as a flock

Integrate your team’s work and co-create your content strategy. Allow creativity and that next big idea to come from anyone at any level across your entire marketing ecosystem.

4)      Adopt an agile approach to your marketing  

Your audience is changing quicker than you are. Marketing and brand plans need to be more fluid than ever before.

5)      Treat your brand as a community (of unique customers)

Allow your digital marketing to build this community wherever your audience is going and want it to go. Buy in the right technology to track and optimise levels of engagement of your brand across social networks. Tailor your content to ensure it is as relevant as possible to each individual customer and prospect. The greater the relevancy, the deeper the engagement and the better the return.

6)      Be authentic in every aspect of your marketing, including how your agencies work together

Your product and brand requires complete transparency. There is no more hiding from your customers. Apply this same principle to your staff and agencies.

  • Do not just allow for annual 360 feedback with your staff and agencies. Integrate your teams to give continual feedback to each other. Ask us about our “Flocking Time”; our own internal progression and feedback process.
  • Draw up an integrated marketing charter that you and every agency you work with signs up to and are measured on.
  • Benchmark agency remuneration and agency fees against the market.
  • Allow agency contracts to be flexible to upscale and downscale specific agency resources – Client Agency Relationship.

7)      Bring in fresh talent and give permission for new ideas to germinate and prosper

The speed at which we all are able to test and roll out new ideas across our marketing communications relies on everyone working together, in harmony, as a fully integrated team, or as we like to call it; a Flock. The more agile the marketing communications process and content strategy, the quicker the feedback loop, the better the optimisation and the greater the prize.

8)      Be prepared to fail (a bit)

We are not suggesting failure is a goal but you are sure to fail completely if you are too risk adverse to adapt to the changing customer. Constant improvement requires you to be prepared as a team to learn as much from new things you try that grow your brand bank account as those things that grow your bottom line.

If any of this resonates with you and your marketing teams, Flock is here to help. We do not make adverts and we do not buy media. We help clients deliver marketing integration, structuring your teams, contracts and processes to enable you to transform and optimise your combined marketing efforts. Our role is to help you acquire and retain the changing customer by helping your internal and external marketing teams exploit some of these learnings. If you want to understand more about how we work, please reply to this post or give us a call HERE

Subscribe to our feed RSS Feed Comment Policy:  Thanks for visiting the Flock Blogging page, where we welcome your comments. Since this is a moderated blog, all comments will be reviewed prior to posting. As a result, there will be a delay in the posting of comments and not all comments will be posted. Comments may also be removed after they are posted. Thank you for your understanding.

Leave a Comment