The Sound and Fury of Modern Marketing

By Stephan Trone, August 12, 2016

It seems like Ferris Bueler’s iconic maxim, “Life moves pretty fast,” has become a bit of an understatement.  From the moment we wake up we are constantly bombarded with media from all angles.  We hardly have a chance to breath, let alone make rational choices.  In terms of marketing, our message has to stand out more than ever.  Every ad we place before our clients must engage them, and wrestle their focus away from the countless distractions that are fighting for their attention.  If our content is not captivating our readers, we are not only risking immediate sales opportunities, but we are losing trust with our audience, and potentially losing their business in the future.

Luckily, technology allows us to keep up with these trends, and we have mountains of data at our fingertips.  The more information we have, the better we can predict how to effectively reach our audience and provide content that will catch their attention.  This is critical as we consider the differences between empty nesters and millennials, or first time buyers and investors.  Each group has different needs, and a general marketing strategy intended to provide broad appeal will fail to capture their attention these days.  Instead, it is important to consider the means of communication for each demographic, and the content that will be most relevant.
Effective marketing requires effective message delivery, but what delivery system works best?  Our answer depends on our audience.  Do they prefer email or SMS?  Facebook or Twitter?  While empty nesters may favor their computers to check their emails, millennials might be more likely to scroll through Instagram on a mobile device.  In 2014, according to Litmus, 22% of emails were opened on a desktop computer versus 58% in 2011, while mobile email opens jumped from 8% to 48% during that same period. If we hope to keep a hold of our fickle readers, we need to adjust with these massive shifts in media.  This means keeping the delivery system in mind as we choose the content that will captivate our busy audience.
Twenty years ago Bill Gates declared, “content is king,” and the argument has only strengthened with time.  However, not all content is created equal.  Effective content will engage with the wants and needs of its audience.  It needs to be tailored specifically for our readers to seize their attention.  For email marketing, this begins with the newsletter’s subject line.  We should toss out the tired and generic subject lines for dynamic and impactful messages. They need to tap into our reader’s interests, while accurately describing the content in as few words as possible.  Once our readers have taken the bait, we need to reel them in with relevant content displayed professionally.  Instead of relying on large newsletters full of general information, include articles and properties that are perfectly designed for each group.  Not only will this increase the effectiveness of our campaigns, but it will build trust with our clients.  In the modern world of fast-paced, mass marketing, that trust sets you apart from the rest.

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