While marketing simply referred in the past to advertising and branding by distracting and interrupting the masses to get their attention and send them a one way (company-to-consumer) message, in order to sell a product, new age marketing faces the crucial need to incorporate their potential customers in their marketing process and address their reactions after having listened actively to what they have to say in order to maximize the added value of their product/service and thus their attractiveness. The most useful tool to interact with customers is the social media, which has been brought by the web 2.0, and which knows a drastic increase in terms of usage by a vast pool of potential consumers but also offers to companies a new way to interact constantly with their consumers. However, communicating with these future customers via social media is not an easy task, as it needs to be done properly after having revised standards of communication. Indeed, it can be an enormous mistake to start a dialogue with the consuming world without “fully understanding the five W’s and an H (and an E) of social media” depicted in Brian Solis’ book “Engage”. But what are exactly these W’s, H’s (and E’s) ?
- Who: “Define the brand personality and what it symbolizes”
- What: “Listen to online conversation and learn from what’s said”
- When: “Pinpoint when your opportunities arise”
- Where: “Track down where you presence is required
- Why: “Find the reasons that warrant your participation”
- How: “Become a part of the community”
- To what Extent: “Identify the individuals who can help you tell your story”
A company cannot survive if it refuses to follow this new active listening trend brought by inbound marketing and its social media but also it if doesn’t take the time to address these 7 points in order to maximize the way they will communicate with their global pool of potential customers.
This is exactly why the question of knowing what you, as a company, can deliver through these new applications brought by the web 2.0 remains actual and should be answered by any companies desiring to succeed. This my personal view point of course, but I deeply encourage marketers to understand the importance of getting along with their consumers’ habits to optimize the impact of their messages.
You wouldn’t speak with a mouth full with your customers… Start WasHing your habits before communicating with them