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First steps on the new journey to profit…

Consumers only want to spend their money on what they really, really value. Businesses, today, really, really want loyalty and need profit.

But, today, that journey to profit has significantly been transformed. Traditional (read: old school) methods of working toward the bottom line and achieving ROI are falling short of success. The world has changed:

  • The economy struggles to stabilize;
  • Consumers have access to on-demand information on any industry, product or service; and,
  • Each individual has the tools they need to become an influencer delivering opinions across borders with heightened connectivity and at increased speeds.

These realities are shaking up those traditional truisms of business. Those beliefs that focused on mass production, lowering costs and mass distribution must change. We have far surpassed the industrial age, yet somehow the metrics of that era are still used as guideposts of success for business in the 21st century.

Now it is true, for example, that – whether in or out of the current economic state – consumers appreciate an affordable price. But do not confuse “affordable” with low price; think value. And yes, it is true that premium pricing often comes with certain perks and can generate a lot of buzz; but popularity and single transactions do not deliver loyalty.

In today’s climate, consumers are facing different challenges and gaining access to new tools, altering their path to decision making. If you are in business, you must adapt! If you are not forging a new journey to profit, you will lose great opportunities for converting new consumers. In the end, without a paying customer, a business cannot survive.

Consider the traditional, yet evolved marketing funnel:

 Funnel interpretation: Maritz Canada Inc.

When we look at how we’ve traditionally moved our consumer through the funnel, and compare what we are (or would like to be) doing today, there is a stark difference. It’s not simply a question of using the new channels and tools at our disposal; it is about understanding how those tools have fundamentally transformed the way in which people interact: among each other, within their communities, across borders, and yes – with brands.

Taking a look at the previous post, and using the proposed motivational marketing math to generate awareness, it is critical to understand your consumer’s context and motivators in order to develop content that will warrant their attention. With today’s tools, increased cross-border connectivity, and newly developed communities, content is a key component to successfully helping your consumer navigate the funnel to value and satisfaction for them (and, of course, profit for you).

Granted, funny cat videos do well for attention – as do bright (and horrid) colours, edgy or taboo remarks and other such eccentricities – but true success can only come from authenticity and honesty. You must deliver content that:

  • Is linked to your brand; don’t try to be someone else.
  • Connects genuinely to your consumer; don’t try to manipulate.
  • Offers value… for free.

The tried and tested ways of getting attention have gone by the wayside. How will you use this new path to profit to get noticed?

The true marketing revolution will elevate the role of the business from making money to satisfying consumer needs and desires to making genuine contributions in their communities (local, national and global).