I first met Larry Chase, publisher of Web Digest for Marketers (WDFM) about 10 years ago in 2001. He was on a book signing at Barnes and Noble regarding his book “Essential Business Tactics for the Net”
WDFM was launched in 1995 and today celebrates its 15 year anniversary. I’ve been a reader for many of these years and it continues to be one of my top 5 resources for all things marketing.
I spoke with Larry yesterday to get his views of how the world of online marketing has changed. His insight, will help you better market, using the Internet, to your prospective and current customers:
Lesson One: All messaging must offer value
Larry explained that no longer can marketers just bombard their audiences with marketing messages and expect advertisement after advertisement to get results. Each message must offer some kind of value. Maybe a financial value (like a coupon offered in a banner advertisement), or content (PDF of tips or a webinar of information).
In short, Larry said that, “commercial messages must come bearing gifts”.
Lesson Two: The Cost of Your Audience’s Attention
You, the marketer (or advertiser) pay in time and more often dollars for reaching your customers. Never forget, however, that your audience pays with their attention to look/listen to your message. Larry said that most advertisements, especially print ads, don’t value the reader. Now, more than every, every message you convey must value the customer more than ever.
Lesson Three: Value Customer Conversation
Most companies want the customer to never call them. “Just buy from us and shut up” is what most companies convey, Larry said. They don’t want to engage customers in conversation, to LISTEN to them.
Why do you think so many companies sent their customer service centers to Bangalore? They wanted the cheapest way to deal with customer “problems”. Instead of using each customer interaction as a way to learn and service customers more, many companies took customer calls as problems that needed as fast and low cost solution as possible.
Larry’s final advice to you? If there’s one thing he’s learned over the years, in publishing the free Web Digest for Marketers, is that offering a congruent incentive is always good. For example, WDFM is free, and also on the web site is an offer for a free download of the “Social Media Marketing Guide: 12 Key Tools”