Every business today, no matter its size or legacy, faces four massive challenges. They are:
– Consumer consciousness
Faced with unlimited choices, savvy consumers are becoming more discerning, and more companies are lining up to respond to their wants and needs.
For a long time, product development and marketing were about making stuff and creating awareness and the converting that awareness to attention in the hope that it would lead a prospective customer to take action and part with money.
Awareness and attention were the holy grails of every marketing strategy, so the way you became successful was to pay for more of both. But there’s a subtle change taking place. Brands that are starting small, that are customer-centric and not just focused on a single bottom line, are making inroads into territories once dominated by big, established players in the marketplace. People are choosing to spend their money with companies that take the time to get to know them and whose actions resonate with their values – companies that thrive by doing the right thing and making things customers love, instead of trying to get customers to love their things. Their advantage isn’t necessarily being faster or cheaper, bigger or better; it is that they take time to understand their customer before making what she wants.
Marketing has gone from this…
AWARENESS -> ATTENTION -> ACTION
ATTRACTION -> AFFINITY -> ACTION
It turns out that affinity that is earned, not attention that is bought and paid for, is what’s powering business growth now.
– from “Meaningful” by Bernadette Jiwa