June 20, 2013

How do we communicate with customers?

We use the word "media" too much and in too many languages. It means "means"; when we say "mass media", we refer to means of communication. Broadcasting has been democratized and we call it "social", along with other things. So "social media" are about global communication, that must be followed by cooperation.
Social media are used in networks, of which the best one is a package of networking services: Google.
Will most of us prefer to communicate with customers using Google services?
I do.

What are some alternatives?
1. advertisements
Offline and online rectangles filled with images and sounds. Who wants them?
I haven't met anyone who is glad to give me his money after I interrupt his activity and start bugging him about how beautiful I am.
If you agree, let us create a community of people who use advertisement-free websites.
I create such websites.

2. mail marketing

Dead.

3. door-to-door marketing

It's not dead, but people dread it.

4. e-mail marketing

I want company teams to e-mail me only when I want to build a relationship with them.
It takes two to tango. I will avoid one-way communication.

5. phone marketing
3.1 calling people
I take phone calls from people who identify themselves and we usually schedule calls. The best software I know of is Google Hangouts.
3.2 sending messages ("text marketing")
I will never buy from you because you send a message to my phone.

People are learning to dislike the lack of control over their devices. I consume radio and television content only over the Internet and rarely; almost never live.

6. fake partnerships
I don't like it when companies partner with NGOs, sports teams, performers etc. If I am helping someone, watching sports or attending an event, I want a clean experience, in which no other company asks me for money. I don't need their money when I help somebody and I can pay for my subscriptions and tickets.

7. search engine marketing
This is an improper name because:
7.1 Google Search is used for 2/3 of Web searches and maybe for 3/4 of the commercial searches.
But I won't call it "Google marketing" because this phrase makes me laugh.
7.2 Search marketing is actually advertising. Advertising is supposed to be a way to inform people. Now they have better means to search for this information.

This endeavor has firstly the effect that people visit your website. But people prefer to take known paths instead of floating on an ocean. That's why I look e.g. for service providers using Google Plus instead of Google Search. I encourage you to do the same.
In this endeavor, people use the so-called "search engine optimization". Of course we don't optimize search engines; rather, we optimize websites for Google (OG) by writing and structuring them according to their Penguin guidelines. So Google will be able to place your site adequately in the Web and your Google Plus circles. Is your team going to conquer the Web / world? Maybe not. Do you need your environment / network of people?
Websites have now a second part: the weblog (the original name of blogs). They call such communication content marketing even when they don't market content. It's actually free knowledge and extended communication. The new advertising guideline is: Keep communicating! That's why Google have linked Blogger to Plus. It's not enough to play files in a TV station anymore.
It is good to post a presentation video on your website; you'll probably host it on Google YouTube and they call such actions video marketing. What you can call it for sure is a way to be found more easily.

I find offline communication better than online communication.
Well, either way you can express yourself, build relationships and do the things you believe in.