Marketing in a digital world: it’s all about personal relationships
In the internet age, marketing is in the very hearts and minds of consumers. Interactions between companies and consumers have allowed for an evolution in marketing by creating stronger bonds, partly due to the rise and growth of online communication channels, but more importantly, due to the sharing of values and beliefs. More and more, consumers use brands to express who they are and brands rely on people to spread their voice.
It isn’t hard to observe this phenomenon. On social networks, people promote their latest purchases and companies commend their brand ambassadors. As this behavior becomes commonplace, marketing is comes into the center of attention and brands only stand to benefit from this. Originally, brands had to work hard to push consumers to propagate their values, but today, consumers embrace this mindset which creates a two-sided effort to represent shared beliefs.
Gone is the old, wild west, where money was the main currency for love of a brand. Brands today expect consumers to do much more and consumers are more than willing to do so. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new generation said that brands get them better than their parents. Brands are the figures we look up to nowadays, they’re the ones waving their flags high, they’re the ones welcoming newcomers without question, without judgement, and they’re always adapting, forever hip; there’s just no way to beat them (sorry, parents!).
This is, however, great news for marketing. It doesn’t mean a marketer’s job is any easier, it just means we (marketers) have home advantage. No longer do we have to go out of our comfort zone to attract and retain consumers; we still have to put in the hard work, though: consumers expect more and more, the stakes are higher, and this time, it’s personal.
Money doesn’t get people, marketing does.