Have you noticed how the internet, your mail box and your post box have become swamped with information over the past few years?
It seems that as companies understand the value and importance of regular communication, more and more firms are bombarding us with marketing materials, promotional literature and newsletters, to the extent that we could spend entire days wading through the detail and not really getting anything of value from it.
Why marketing has become as superfluous as spam
This communication approach is positive in some ways, because it means that the firms we care about are more readily available to us, letting us know when they have promotions on, giving us regular discounts, and pre-empting our requirements by jumping in with a timely brochure, discount or product launch that prompts us to renew, refresh and reload our products.
The problem is, when firms start to engage with their customers, they tend to be very enthusiastic.
They want to tell us when they have painted their office a new colour, introduce new team members, or give us the lowdown on their latest service packages as soon as they are launched.
This means that positive, useful messages are distilled among an endless tirade of miscellaneous updates that fill our inbox, irritate us, and make it difficult to sort out relevant information from rubbish.
Making your customers work too hard to get what they need
It’s kind of like when you buy a magazine because they’re advertising a great story on the front that you’re interested in, but when you get it home you have to go through forty pages of dross and irrelevant adverts before you hit on the one decent bit of information you were looking for.
By the time you get around to hunting out the story, you’re so fed up with the barrage of irrelevancy that you probably cast the whole publication aside and go looking for something interesting online!
These days, we’re short on time.
We are getting used to accessing information quickly through a search engine or a smartphone, and the days of wading through a telephone directory or local magazine to reach an advert are long gone.
This is why we have to modify our marketing approach to make it short, relevant, snappy and – above all – easy to find, rather than hiding our important messages behind reams of words which our clients aren’t remotely interested in.
Keeping it short and sweet
As online entrepreneurs, we have a responsibility to pre-empt customer requirements, and then give them what they are looking for as soon as they begin to look.
This means that our Tweets, Facebook updates, blog and newsletters need to be clear, simple and only sent out when they have direct relevance to our customers.
It’s tempting to go overboard with our marketing when we first launch ourselves in to the virtual environment, but we need to bear in mind that our customers are swamped with needless information every day, and hitting their inbox with yet more detail is more likely to alienate them than keep them engaged.
If you’re selling trousers, your clients don’t need to know your inside leg measurement.
They just need to know how to buy trousers.
If you’re confessing all online in a bid to share your every business activity with your customers, bear in mind that your messages will be relegated to the slush pile of unsubscribed spam, and they’ll start to go somewhere else to find what they need quickly and easily!
Less is often more!