This is a guest post from my good friend Scott Sigel (@ScottSigel).
Silencio!!! by LuisVilla
When marketing began its relationship with technology over half a century ago, it didn’t take long for businesses to embrace technology as a medium of promotion and sales. Not long after radio, television became an integral piece of the marketing matrix and it could be argued, conceived the concept of “noise”. Possibly known as a different name to different people, noise can be loosely defined as the onslaught of marketing material one sees on a regular basis. Now decades later, new forms of media and new sources of communication seem to sprout faster than we can accept them into our daily lives. Marketing has matured from its prehistoric days of basic sales to a full on brand experience. Delivered once through a limited scope of media, we have countless sources today. As consumers, how much can we handle? As marketers, how do we continue to break through the noise when it seems to be louder, more frequent and more numerous than ever?
Consider that even before the internet turned the marketing world on its (cough) head, in any given day one could expect to find messaging via commercials on TV or radio, billboards, bus stops, magazines, newspapers, brochures, signage outside stores or even the ancient practice of telemarketing. Compound this with a maturing Web as well as mobile phones taking over as our primary means of sending and receiving information and it’s astonishing how we ever recollect a single marketing message.
The internet has created far more marketing avenues and more dialogue between business and customer which in turn have created more sources of noise. However, one shouldn’t discount what the net has afforded us in a far greater tailored marketing experience. The ability to opt in and out of personalized marking has let consumers filter through the market and increased communication between business and customer, prompting more value added dialogue. While these conversations are significant, the intra-customer chatter should be given just as much, if not more, weight.
Since breaking through noise means understanding all types of current and potential customers, one of the most worthwhile sources of data is the abundance of online discussion. Whether through review sites such as CNET for technology, Consumerist for an even wider range of products and especially social media sites, there is a massive flow of information. The paradox of course is that all of this feedback is essentially more noise, but for the first time is consumer driven.
Granted, busting through noise is like migrating through a labyrinth, however the clues you need as a business will always be found with your customer. Don’t look at new media as a hindrance to reach customers but as a tool. Market research has always been an ongoing process but is now an active two-way street where the customers who are looking for you can tell you a lot about how they were looking for you, their lifestyles, where else they can be found, etc. Since we no longer have to shout over everyone to get attention and can be more focused on a targeted consumer, maybe it can be a bit less noisy out there.Internet marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Scott Sigel, Television