2020 was bad. How bad? 48 percent of ALL remaining small businesses nationwide will likely be out of business by the end of Q4 2020 according to a recent survey by Alignable. Fear does that. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin says “fear cuts deeper than swords.” Yep.
But there is hope. Because we all still need things and companies of all sizes sell those things, but we HAVE to start doing marketing differently—and by that I mean better.
It starts with empathy for the audience. When you have empathy for the audience and genuinely want to build relationships with them, then you care about what you send them and when you interrupt them.
I am not a fan of interruption marketing including, telemarketing, advertising, SMS texting, sales-oriented LinkedIn direct messages, etc. I don’t like being interrupted and neither do you. And I don’t like my clients’ messages being thought of as something to skip or a nuisance that can be easily dismissed. That is NOT a good look for a brand. I don’t like interruptions and I don’t like funnels mainly because no one measures the top of the funnel where you just annoy people until they either submit or leave. That isn’t a real relationship.
But I do believe in magnets. This coming year, the rest of the world will catch up. Attraction marketing is where you bring the audience to you in a number of ways including great messaging, great content marketing, public relations, influencer marketing and GREAT e-mail that helps people. There are a number of factors coming together that I believe will make 2021 the year of attraction marketing for two reasons:
- Less Tolerance for Interruptions
- Government Privacy Crackdown
Customers are becoming less tolerant of interruption marketing. “People hate advertising,” said Joanna Coles, the former chief content officer of Hearst Magazines, during a session at the Advertising Week conference in New York. “And it’s all advertisers’ fault.” Seated next to her, nodding in agreement, was Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, one of the largest advertisers in the world. Ads, he said, are often irrelevant and sometimes “just silly, ridiculous or stupid.” And I think they hate the interruption — the idea that the marketers think their need to sell is more important than their customers’ need to be left alone.
But the biggest reason attraction marketing wins is privacy—and specifically the coming reckoning re: privacy from state and local government and of course, Washington D.C. When you attract customers, you have ZERO privacy risk, ZERO relationship risk—and ALL upside. But…your stuff MUST be great. It can’t just be ok, and you must market with EMPATHY for the audience at all times.
2020 was awful for all of us, but 2021 can be MUCH better for small businesses and those who create marketing for them IF we decide to do things better and we execute on that promise.
Here’s to a MUCH better 2021 for all of us! I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!