You have an Audience

by Dave Wirsching on April 22, 2010

Customers, prospects, leads – they no longer exist. At least they shouldn’t when planning for your market. Generational changes, social networks, and the ubiquity of the Internet has turned marketing on its head. The marketers are no longer in control, the buyer is. What once was a one-to-many broadcast/advertising model is quickly morphing into a landscape populated by relationships. Buyers are demanding them and marketers are beginning to understand that they are a necessary for success.

Anyone who’s been in a successful relationship realizes that it can’t be one-way. There has to be give and take.

Who’s Giving?

Smart marketers, that’s who – giving value, giving information, no longer just pushing out an offer, but providing a performance. Apple gets it (as with so many things marketing).  Watch Steve Jobs present the iPad:

Sure it’s a announcement, but it’s more – its performance art.

Consumers are taking in the show – online relationships are morphing into that of an artist and their audience. Today’s buyers not only consume, they comment, they critique, the advocate. They get excited, they chat, spread rumors, and sometimes become part of the show.

What’s a marketer to do?

You already have fans – people are sharing information and opinions about you and  your company, both online and offline – with or without your involvement. To successfully engage your online audience:

  • Rethink your approach to your market – who’s your audience?
  • Provide value – what does your audience want? How can you provide it?
  • Build relationships – plan to communicate not just to, but with your audience
  • Think of marketing as more of a performance or a event – what’s your goal and how is your message delivered. Is it ready to be consumed by your audience?
  • Allow your fans to be fans – set up ways that your fans can easily communicate with and about you – fan pages, forums, feedback forms, ratings and reviews.

Engage with your audience and deliver the performance they expect and you will be setting the stage for life-long fans.

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