Marketing has always been about creating a dialogue with customers. Unfortunately, many marketers continue to believe sending as much information as possible to the client is the best way to build engagement. The explosion in digital marketing & automation technologies has just made their job easy.
Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad
That is verbatim, a NY Times article on the level noise is out there. According to Yankelovich, a market research firm, a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 today. About half people surveyed by Yankelovich said they thought marketing and advertising today was out of control. Another digital marketing expert, Ron Marshall of Red Crow Marketing, claims that an average American is exposed to at least 4000 – 10000 ads every day. While there is no published statistics for India, I don’t expect the number to be very different.
How many of these brand do you think manage to create a dialogue?
A Tale of Two Brands
Let me tell you a story, not something fictional, but based on my experience in two restaurants in Chennai last week. The first one offers an exquisite dining experience, nestled within a premium five start hotel, while the second one serves traditional South Indian fast food menu including idli, dosa, vada & pongal inside a popular mall. To give you the right comparison, a meal for two could cost about ₹3500 – ₹ 4000 ($50 – $60) in the premium dining restaurant while it could cost your merely ₹400 – ₹600 ($6 – $9) in the later.
The waiter in the fast food joint surprised me with a hand written note behind the bill. A simple note that made me smile. He probably didn’t care about me, he was just following some instructions. He could have even copied it from a guide but none of it matter to me. I really felt special for those few minutes. I left a fat tip and made eye-contact with him & said ‘thank you’.
Au contraire, as I left the premium restaurant, I got an SMS with a 25% discount voucher for my next visit. A 25% discount was almost three times my bill in the fast food restaurant. Naturally, I must have been excited, but it didn’t feel special. I know it was just an automated campaign tool that sends out such messages to everyone who fills their feedback form. Just like the way I got one, the other two gentlemen who left the restaurant along with us would have got it too. Plus I even shared that it was my wedding anniversary, they least they could do was to wish me!
The hand written note had no future value, yet I showed it to 3 of my friends. That discount voucher is lying somewhere buried in my phone. I surely say, the hand written note would bring in more business to ID, than the 25% discount vouchers will bring to Dakshin.
Marketers Need a Digital Detox to Connect with Customers
Digital detox is commonly referred to a period when one disconnects himself from all things electronic. Experts say that a digital detox will make you more mindful, lower anxiety, and even help you to appreciate your environment better. Now, what if we applied that logic to our marketing mix? No, I am not suggesting that we should stop digital marketing, but rather raise a question about the number of times we create opportunities for a touchy, feely experience, in an old school way.
As you can see, a simple gesture of a hand written note helped ID build an engagement that a ₹1000 voucher couldn’t do for Dakshin.
Customer Are Looking for a Digital Detox to Break their Fatigue:
How do you think B2B marketers can break this digital fatigue? Are there creative ways in which we can build engagement with our clients & prospects?
Have you tried something like this in your marketing mix? Do share your perspectives & points of view in the comments section.