Traditional marketing is educating the market about the distinctive benefits of a company's products or services.
In advertising, we can be great entertainers, and share a wonderful and compelling vision of the distinctive benefits we offer. We can create a story full of drama that is vividly colorful and backed by powerful music and fireworks.
And all this will be like a small poster on the side of a glass house. Prospective customers might notice that poster or not... but, they will definitely be looking around it, through the glass walls.
Through those glass walls, they will know something of what it's like to be a customer of your company. They'll see it in the Yelp and Google reviews. They'll hear it in the stories people tell on social media. They'll feel it by stepping in the shoes of the storytellers the Internet has given so much power to.
The days of being able to successfully grow by marketing with advertising alone are over.
It's time to turn our marketing focus inward and through the company. We now need to:
- Look at and optimize every prospect and customer touch point. And, we need to
- Have a unified team with a clear mission supporting those exquisite touches.
So, at least as much as we are projecting outward with media, we need catalysts to look inwards and create reality tunnels full of ever-growing delight that go from the outside in. "Delight is at the end of the tunnel", as Richard Bandler, co-developer of NLP, would say. I would add that delight needs to be on the tunnel entrance and walls as well. If we want to stand out as the exceptional choice in our niche, we need to emulate Walt Disney designing a theme park ride and consider every point of contact in its sensory detail and effect on the emotions.
How well are your touch points defined in terms of the emotions and experience you want to elicit in your customers, clients, and team? How many ways have you experimented with different pathways to satisfying the needs you address?
Like an aquarium where the plants and fish come more fully to life as the temperature becomes perfect, these experience touch points of customer engagement grow best in the environment of a deeply aligned team. Both the people that customers and prospects connect with and those who support those people should come from a place of congruence with a clear mission that speaks to customer empathy and leadership.
So, it's not just about media anymore. When we combine the web media with optimized customer touch points and a deeply aligned team, the magic happens and the positive customer stories that emerge from this environment do much of the marketing work for us.
So, the marketing agency or consultant of the future needs a toolkit that includes not only media generation, but also customer interaction optimization tools like NLP, and organizational alignment tools like Systems Thinking. We can't just create beautiful marketing posters to put on glass houses.