The New Meaning of Marketing

Stop and think for a second. What does marketing mean to you? If you think it means selling products, you’re already behind the curve. Modern marketing has taken on a new meaning, and today it’s all about building brand loyalty. Driving sales–yes, that too, but sales are nothing without true brand loyalty to back them up.

It’s a concept discussed by two major news outlets just this week. The Harvard Business Review took a look at some of the heavyweights in loyalty building, like Apple, Chipotle, and J Crew, to see what they’re doing right. The key takeaway: these brands are experts at helping customers derive meaning from their marketing, whether that means feeling like a specific type of person or feeling like you’re doing something good for the world when you buy.

AdWeek discussed how Dove has become the most-loved brand in the chocolate universe, scoring close to 100% in measurements for ‘Net Sentiment’ and ‘Brand Passion.’ Dove has accomplished this through highly effective content marketing, using a steady stream of customer photos, original stories and hashtags to encourage engagement.

So what does this mean for us, the little guys? Should we throw our current marketing plans out the window? Of course not. But we should take this as a cue to reexamine said plan, and look for opportunities to build brand loyalty at every turn.

Studies have consistently shown that consumers respond most strongly to a handful of emotions, most notably surprise, delight and curiosity. Maybe you tweak your marketing strategy to include surprising customers with upgraded shipping. Delight customers with a small free gift with their purchase. Pique their curiosity by asking a compelling question in the subject line of a sales email, and then deliver the answer in the body.

A good exercise is to take a look at your current marketing strategy—print ads, vehicle wraps, commercials, etc.—and for each item in the plan, ask yourself a simple question. What effect does this have on my customer? There will be many answers, but one of them should consistently relate to driving loyalty for your brand.

Need help figuring out where your marketing tactics fit into all of this? KAUFFs is glad to assist. Contact us with a phone call or by filling out our simple form.