The Shift to Empowerment Marketing
A few weeks ago we zeroed in on how educating impacts the selling function by empowering your clients and their brands, but now we bring it all back to the beginning with a discussion on the correlation between empowering and marketing.
Empowering is the act of giving away your power to those around you so you can elevate the group as a whole. At the birth of marketing, empowering was the antithesis of a successful marketing campaign.
After WWII, the economy was struggling to recover. People had adopted values around thrift and buying quality goods that would last a long time. With this mentality, the politicos knew there was not much hope for the economy to drastically rebound, so they had two options:
- Ride out the bubble and hope it would all go back to normal
- Change the way people consume
Change was the only answer and out of this need for change came disempowerment marketing. Advertisers would make consumers feel that they were missing something, but that their product would make them feel whole again. Even just referring to consumers as consumers was an indication of how the advertising industry looked at their client's customers: as just mindlessly consuming machines that would eat up whatever they convinced them they needed.
For a long time disempowerment marketing didn't just work, but it altered the relationship consumers had with their brands. Fast-forward to the digital age, and consumers are demanding more. They want to get off the treadmill of mindless consumption and they are equipped with the knowledge to do so. Thanks to the internet, the barriers to information have all but disappeared. Consumers are empowered because they are now educated on all that goes into the products they consume.
This awakened perception demands a shift in the way we approach marketing. Marketing has evolved into a conversation rather than a pitch. Empowerment marketing pulls the customer in with knowledge and gives them space to make their own decision. Consumers are demanding that the marketing messages blasted at them non-stop, shift from demeaning to meaningful.