Evolving Communication Trends
How do you communicate the benefits of your product or service? Does what you present make people want to do business with you? Distributors, why would someone buy from you instead of online or from another distributor? Suppliers, in many cases several companies offer the same product you do. Why should a distributor buy it from you?
Some of my recent Rants addressing topics on innovation—or lack thereof—in our industry have stimulated good discussion. If you missed theses articles check out: "No Single Raindrop Believes it is to Blame for the Flood?" and "Whose Fault Is It?" In this Rant, I want to address an emerging trend that we all should be aware of that ties in nicely to the topic.
The 2013 PPAI North American Leadership Conference was packed with great information and I continue to draw on what I learned. Frank Mulhern, a professor and Associate Dean at Medill Northwestern University, presented an eye-opening session that addressed trends for marketing in a digital era. He touched on the evolution of marketing, noting that original TV ads were simply filming of radio ads.
Frank said that TV gave us ordering of brand marketing. It enabled brands to reach large audiences and engaged emotions as the core of a branding strategy. We can still see that in advertising today. TV advertising isn't really relevant to our industry, but the evolving communication trends are.
Now, we are in a digital age. Digital, social and mobile marketing have as much impact as TV and other "traditional" advertising mediums. There is a shift from communication channels to platforms that provide functionality. Today, many of our buyers aren't really tuned into TV, so to speak.
What does this mean for distributors and suppliers? Everything! The good news is that today's digital platforms are accessible to everyone and, unlike TV advertising, digital marketing can have little to no cost.