The Social Laws of Marketing

by Jerry Hobby on January 31, 2012

The Social Laws of Marketing

The Internet has changed how consumers respond to marketing.  Prior to the Internet, we could put out traditional ads and people would respond to them or ignore them.  With the Internet, advertising has become more socialized and it is more important than ever for our marketing meets community standards.  These community standards could be described as the social laws of marketing.

 Permission Based Marketing

Consumers have developed an intolerance to advertising, especially in “on-demand” information sources.  With television, they have to wait for the program to continue.  It’s a captive audience.  With email marketing and web marketing, even brief advertising may be considered an interruption and possibly even a violation.   Youtube experienced this with sponsored videos and they now give you the ability to skip commercials when viewing videos.  The level of intolerance to advertising is growing and you must consider this in your strategy.

Consumers will accept advertising from you if you follow a few rules.  These are “common law” rules and will change over time.  Currently, email advertising should be done only with permission.  Social media advertising can only be done if in conjunction with some type of contribution.

The key is to contribute enough value that the consumer is accepting the advertising.   If you use social media marketing, you can recognize valued content because people will repost it, thumbs up the content, or add comments to it.  They usually don’t respond to marketing, but they will read it.  Without content, they will more likely ignore you or even unfollow you.  You have to earn their permission through contribution.  That contribution can be personal or professional and is usually more effective if it’s social in nature.

Customer Feedback

Angry consumers have the power to cause serious damage to your company.  They can write bad reviews on a number of different sites.  These bad reviews get replicated and suddenly a one star rating and a story of their horrible opinion of you quickly spreads.   Further, they can file written complaints on a few websites and those complaints will likely come up higher in the search engine than your own website.  Those complaints will also be replicated onto other sites across the internet.  This can be devastating.

There are ways to clean these issues up, but it’s not easy and in some cases nearly impossible.  We accept projects to clean up online reputations.   We call this service, Reputation Management.  It’s a critical service for companies victimized by this problem.

The point is, you cannot allow angry customers to do this to you.  If you are marketing online, you also must have a 100% satisfaction strategy to deal with customers.  Sometimes the costumer is very unreasonable.  Some people complain about everything even when your work is flawless.  This is going to be a business challenge to deal with.

Some companies have a customer satisfaction procedure where they call the customer after the work is done and ask them to rate the service, the product, and the overall experience.   If the rating is less than 5 stars, then they ask the customer, what would it take to change that to a 5 star rating?  The idea is that an unhappy customer is a risk.  A happy customer is a marketing tool.

Costumers have much more reach because of the internet.  Customer opinions may be the single most important factor in your marketing success.  This is becoming even more critical as consumers learn the tools available to them.

Follow the rules and monitor your online reputation.  We take your online reputation seriously.  Call us today.

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