This book in a nutshell: Marketing and advertising have been pretty much the same for over 100 years, so it’s no wonder people are finally getting around to being sick of traditional marketing and advertising. Long gone are the days of marketing at people -- telling them what they want and why they want it. Consumers no longer stand for laundry lists of how great a product is, or scare tactics to make them rush out to buy things they never really wanted in the first place.
This post highlights the three major points that stood out for me. Hopefully by the time you finish this post, you’ll understand why – whether you’re in marketing, sales, or advertising – you really, really need to read this book.
It’s a quick read and you can find it here (Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Amazon and I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
Be a Human Already
According to Schaefer, successful marketers must have a “humanistic” marketing strategy. As a marketer, it’s important that you don’t show up in consumers’ private lives (i.e. social media, internet searches, inbox) and inundate them with your brand’s pushy, brand-centric messaging over, and over, and over again. Instead, when you do show up in their private lives, your messaging should be about the them as people, and how you can help solve a problem for them.
According to Schaefer, “Marketers need to leverage technology to serve customers, not abuse them.”
Loyal Days Are (Almost) Gone
There are soooooo many choices out there for absolutely everything. Consumers can choose their products from anywhere in the world. Anywhere. And that also means that, if they become unhappy with a product or business, all they have to do is a quick online search, and they can jump ship at any second. With a world full of choices, there's usually not much reason for a consumer to be loyal to a brand.
But even though customer loyalty has become rare, that doesn’t mean it’s completely obsolete. That’s why it’s important to take care of the few loyal customers you do have.
Schaefer says, “Give them the tools to be a referral engine for your brand. Stop bombarding consumers who don’t want a relationship with endless emails or complex loyalty programs.”
What he’s getting at is this: Give them reasons to share your offer with their friends, rather than just continuously tossing stuff at them to see what sticks. People don’t want to be constantly presented with things they’re not interested in. It’s overwhelming.
People don’t believe corporate messaging anymore. Since the beginning of traditional advertising, corporations have overpromised and underdelivered, so consumers have wisened up and aren’t buying those lines these days. They want to be the stars of the story. They want to learn how they can belong with your brand, they don’t want to be told how great your brand is. As a marketer, you should never focus on your company’s “why”. Always focus on the customers’ “why”, and over time you will tap into the all-powerful consumer-generated marketing.
The world is changing fast, and that includes the way consumers make purchasing decisions. In this powerful book, Mark Schaefer guides marketers through today's world of unrelenting technology changes and quickly-shifting consumer demands and provides a framework to move forward, stay relevant, and keep pace.
As Schaefer repeats throughout the book, and boldly in the title itself, “The most human company wins.”