As a marketer, I’m constantly looking for connections. Whether it’s direct like a LinkedIn or Facebook invite, or one that is harder to pin down and identify, like ad copy or an image that somehow speaks to a potential customer out there in the digital universe. Either way, my job is to connect with people and make products and brands relatable and necessary.
The ways and means to do this has gotten easier with tools and platforms like Twitter, Instagram, remarketing, and on and on. But, here’s the catch: It’s all becoming white noise. There are so many ads, content, 140 character messages, posts, catchy imagery, targeting options (geo, demo), tags, newsletters – sigh – that it’s actually, somehow, becoming more difficult to effectively reach people.
So what is the solution? I can only offer my humble advice based upon my experience doing this kind of thing for a living. Plus, this is the opinion of a person that’s been simply walking this earth for 40-plus years (ouch).
I think it’s a matter of getting back to basics a bit. Real interactions. And in this digital age, I’m not naïve enough to suggest that we should all gather in a room and talk each time we want to buy or sell something. But an updated version of this will suffice. The transfer of ideas and information is just as valuable online as it is on the ‘street’.
I see discussion groups as a fine example of this. People of like mind and profession mixing it up, and in the process stoking real interest in an industry, profession, product, or idea. If you build it they will come (sorry, I couldn’t resist). I’ve learned that it doesn’t always have to be a hard sell with a price tag attached. Offering some value for life and work goes a long way.
Start talking. Ask questions. Give some answers. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and there’s always someone or some brand that’s been there, done that. I think it’s a matter of being an active participant in our own experience online. In other words: I know we don’t know each other, but we can still connect. I know you’re out there.