Did you ever watch TV’s Mad Men? Those guys had it easy. When they wanted to sell something, they used a controlled medium where consumers were passive recipients of whatever message marketers wanted to put out there.
Those days are gone forever. Today, everyone with access to the Internet can publish their own reviews, commentary, or responses – and marketers who aren’t part of the dialogue are quickly being left behind.
But some things don’t change. Crafting a solid marketing message that is built on a great marketing strategy is just as important – or maybe more important – today than it was when the Mad Men ruled Madison Avenue.
So what does it take to create the best marketing message for today’s wired world? I can’t stress enough how strongly I believe that the ACT Methodology – three basic building blocks – is the key to successful online marketing.
A is for Attract. To attract means to get attention or stand out. Practically, this means attracting traffic to your website—your main online marketing tool. Nowhere is social media marketing more successful and useful than in the “attracting” phase of online marketing. During the attraction phase, you are trying to drive traffic to your site and stand out from the masses.
C is for Convert. Conversion happens when you turn a stranger into a consumer or customer. And there is a difference between the two! A consumer may take in your information or even sample your product, but he or she may not always buy. That’s okay! Over time, that consumer may become a customer. The more expensive a purchase, the longer it may take. This means that you constantly have to work to convert people into consumers and customers.
T is for Transform. You transform when you turn past and present successes into magnetic forces of attraction.
People, especially strangers, crave social proof. Social proof is the theory that we are more likely to do something when we see others doing it. This applies even more when the others in question are similar to us. We often decide what to do (including whether to buy) based on what others are doing. This isn’t the only factor in our decision making, but it is a major one
One of our clients is K9Cuisine.com. They sell premium dog food online. Nothing too glamorous, but their customer service is amazing. They go above and beyond just delivering an order. If a client orders regular shipping, they upgrade it for no extra charge. If a customer says his dog didn’t like a specific brand, they swap it out and help him find something that his dog will like. They’re more than just a dog food seller; they become trusted dog nutrition advisors who care about your four-legged friend.
And they’re great at retelling the stories their customers share with them. When K9Cuisine.com receives an email thanking them for helping Jack, the loved golden retriever, start eating again after a long illness, they ask the customer if they can share their story with others. The story then makes its way onto their Facebook page and into their tweets. Soon, lots of people know about how K9Cuisine.com helped Jack. Next time they think about Fido needing dog food, they will think about K9Cuisine.com. If they have a great experience, they may tell their friends, and the ACT cycle continues.