Market Like You Mean It

Ryan Moede, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

It’s easy to spot the advertising and marketing today done by companies who simply don’t care about delivering valuable marketing to their customers – companies too content with interrupting them with annoying, trivial messaging. Some, however, are beginning to see the light.

There may be several names for it, but no matter what you call it, there is no doubt that brand marketing must deliver value. Some like to think of it as marketing with meaning. Others have dubbed it branded utility (something I've written about before.) Still others prefer marketing as service.

No matter which way you slice it, brands are beginning to realize that the best way to make their product and advertising stand out amid the unparalleled noise is to simply provide value through their marketing. In the past, it may have -- at best -- been possible to satisfy a customer with trivial marketing and advertising if at least the product delivered. But now, customers expect both the information selling the product and the quality of the product to live up to their promise.

FastCompany's Bill Breen writes, "Overloaded by sales pitches, consumers are gravitating toward brands that they sense are true and genuine. Hunger for the authentic is all around us. You can see it in the way millions are drawn to mission-driven products like organic foods."

"Consumers hate advertising," Mr. Gilbreath wrote in a preamble for a WPP Digital-backed discussion group last year. "Meanwhile, consumers hate us -- the marketers and advertisers who invent new ways to spam them online and offline.  Bridge's alternative, according to Mr. Woffington: "How do you make sure your marketing is held up to the same standard the product is? ... P&G says their products improve people's lives. But how about the marketing? Does the marketing itself improve consumers' lives? ... That's a much higher standard than just selling more product." [Via AdWeek]

So who is creating useful marketing?

Samsung deployed mobile charging stations at select airports to allow harried travelers hanging out to that last ounce of battery juice to quickly power up before hitting the streets.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. launched a nurse training bus tour called "Not on My Watch" to combat the estimated 100,000 U.S. deaths per year from hospital-associated infections.

Nike provides runners and athletes with improved training tools and online communities to compete through Nike Plus.

And both Dominos and Pizza Hut are battling it out to see who can entice their customers with the most useful online pizza-builder app.

Between leading busy lives that leave little room for worthless advertising, and an unprecedented ability to share information through a myriad of social tools, consumers are beginning to gravitate to the company that delivers not just a valuable product, but to the company that adds further value through the marketing itself.

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