Updated January, 2022.
2021 brought a LOT of changes to the world of online business. Consumers are demanding privacy and becoming more leery of online sales tactics than ever before.
The online landscape has already started to change. And that affects relationships that brands have with customers.
The upheaval started with Facebook’s many privacy blunders and policy changes and lead to the sweeping new structure of privacy legislation like the GDPR (read more here). Both of these notable changes have made businesses more accountable for the way they treat people online.
In the end, marketing work is about building relationships. Marketing automation can be used to help build those relationships… but we need practices that are not invasive and impersonal. Privacy improvements are a good thing if they help us build more trusting relationships.
Marketing Automation DONT’S:
- Pushing out content
- Buy, buy, buy
- Unboxing (ugh!)
- Impersonal marketing (Hello customer xyz!)
- Black Friday specials
- Faceless emails
Marketing Automation DO’S:
- Be useful
- Expose customers to new ideas
- Resonate with shared values
- Don’t take yourself (your brand) too seriously
- Respect your customers’ time
- Be genuine
Build Real Relationships
If you’re a marketer who cares about building real relationships with your customers, try a few of these ideas with your automated marketing — whether that’s bots, email marketing, funnels or re-targeting PPC ads.
1. Be useful:
Nobody likes a friend who only talks about themselves: “me..me…me!” We’ve all had one of those friends! If we don’t like people who behave that way, why would we like a brand that behaves that way? A “me-me-me!” brand is one that always talks about itself and its problems and successes. If you’re building a brand and doing that, stop it right now! Be a brand that comes from a place of service and share stories your customers can use.
(Image courtesy of First Round)
“The branding choices you make now are building your company as much as the programming language or CRM software you select.”
— Leslie Ziegler, Rock Health (interviewed by First Round)
2. Show Me New Things
Doing the same old thing is comforting. I love walking to work the same way every day because it feels nice. But science shows us that doing things differently — even changing your route to work — changes your brain. It helps you retain more information and be more successful. The same thing happens when we’re exposed to new ideas.
Be a brand that brings new ideas, challenges your customers, and helps them master their world. Open up those neural pathways and offer something new and valuable.
The Story of Stuff — Bringing New Ideas
A movie kicked off a movement focused on how we buy and use our stuff.
This video about microfibers is a wealth of new information.
“Every time we wash synthetic fabrics, whether they’re made from recycled bottles or brand new materials, super tiny pieces of plastic called microfibers wash off and flow down the drain — up to hundreds of thousands each wash.” — “The Story of Microfibers”
Screenshot from video “The Story of Microfibers”
3. Resonate With Shared Values
(Image courtesy of Lyft)
4. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
(Image courtesy of the MailChimp blog)
5. Respect My Time
(Image courtesy of Note To Self)
6. Be Genuine in Your Automated Marketing Campaigns
(Image courtesy of Sago Mini)
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