Don’t Talk the Talk

More than just resonating through pop culture and slowly destroying productivity, social media has undoubtedly altered the way we communicate and the way we react. Businesses have recently felt the pressure to change strategies to brand themselves effectively in the paradigm that social media has established. Creating the right kind of message is an integral part of designing effective PR and customer relationship management strategies, but greater business strategies in this day and age also rely heavily on the effectiveness of a marketing message; essentially, it’s up to marketers to position a brand with the new breed of target audiences in order to succeed.

Deeper digital immersion in our everyday lives, where everything is fast-paced and information flows quickly and freely, has forced marketing to fundamentally change to adapt. The increased speed of dialogue exchange online means that the time allotted for “elevator pitching” has shrunk considerably.  Traditionally, this would mean a focus on frontloading as much attention-grabbing material in a pitch, or risking distraction and disinterest. Now, the structure of visual and language cues has changed completely – consumers are no longer captivated by marketing ‘speak,’ but actively dismiss messages that contain buzz words and immediate calls-to-action.

This modern consumer is highly attuned to the kind of messaging that has been thrown their way over the course of the last 50 years of marketing. But this is not necessarily a bad thing; social media has forced messaging to change, but it has changed for the better.

People today are looking to engage in conversations and build trust to ultimately drive their purchase behaviors. Because this dialogue is a two-way street rather than a unidirectional assault of marketing messages, the result is an opportunity for marketers to create stronger, more personal relationships with consumers when designing and executing a campaign. Businesses that promote authenticity are highly successful in this new paradigm, although the other extreme, where some companies swear or otherwise push boundaries of decency in advertising, doesn’t work well. Messaging can be fun and authentic without crossing these lines.

Companies must focus on a more integrated approach that speaks to a wide spectrum, reaching peers, industry influencers, and most importantly, customers in a manner that aligns with not just a company’s brand identity and resources, but its goals and objectives. Marketing jargon is effectively dead, but if more companies successfully transition to the new lingo, we will be listening closer than ever before.

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