10 Things That Aren’t Changing Right Now

Timeless Marketing Principles

It’s been a wild ride so far… 2013 is only halfway over and yet many of us feel like there’s been enough uncertainty, turmoil, tragedy and trials for an entire year (and then some…) In the midst of fiscal cliffs, government sequestrations, polls, public safety and pollen counts, here are 10 things that are not changing—at least for now; those tried and true marketing principles that you can still take to the bank.

People Buy From People They Trust
Let’s face it.  Relationships are core to business and they’re still the number one contributing factor for people’s purchasing decisions in the service arena.  All things being equal, people will generally go with a provider they know and trust.  Nurture your relationships.

A Trend is a Trend is a Trend (Is That Trendy to Say?)
One of the most valuable skills a leader can have is the ability to distinguish between a trend and real change.  People that can spot the difference will be the ones to succeed.  Call it B.S., call it a fad, call it whatever- but make sure you’re not putting all your eggs in a “what’s happening now” basket.

There’s Power in the Personal Call
Tweets, texts, emails, notes, likes, posts and pokes all have their place… but nothing trumps the direct, relational power of a personal phone call. It’s still the #1 most effective method for getting on someone’s radar and connecting on a personal level.  Pick it up… dial… and smile.

People Still Take Vacations… But Do They Really Relax?
Americans work. A lot. And while we still take vacations, we wonder… do we ever really relax while we’re “away?”  With all the talk of rest and “me time,” make sure that you maintain solid boundaries to keep you and your workforce healthy and happy.  It’s the marketing principle that makes your other marketing principles stay the course.  Take breaks and relax.

Sales, Clearances, Discounts and Deals (Need We Say More?)
We don’t need to say more… so, we won’t.

Hometown News is the Only News
People care about national and international news but are often only engaged with local news. That includes new places to eat in the area, high school football, local heroes, non-profits, parks, shopping and more.  Tap into local news and you have an immediate and engaged audience.   Be heard on the homefront.

Yea, Cute Pictures of Animals and Babies Work (No Kiddin’)
Include pictures of snuggly kittens, bunnies or babies and you’ll get attention.  Somehow this trick still works, although in today’s culture everyone knows they’re being exploited by cuteness… they just don’t care.

Do Your Homework!
Going into a pitch or meeting without having done your homework beforehand is still a cardinal sin.  Nothing can beat solid preparation and deliberate research so that you go into a meeting or new venture having the necessary data to make informed, strategic decisions… and impress people.

Everyone’s a Sucker for Before and After Pictures
“Before and After” pictures work.  Undeniably.  Whether it’s for hair care, weight loss, detergent, air ducts, lawn services or teeth whitening, show a before/after picture and you’ve got people’s attention. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book but as a marketing tool it packs just as much punch as ever.

Good Customer Service is Good for Business
You know what’s annoying?  A restaurant with delicious food, but poor service.  Nothing is more frustrating because we really want some good eats but when the service is poor, it makes us not only want to avoid that place but also launch a tirade against it!  “Burn it to the ground!” Good customer service goes a long way and it’s not just a perk- it’s core to the experience.  Happy customers beget other happy customers.

Well, there you have it.  No matter what happens with budgets, flight delays, or the age old question of whether wine and chocolate are good for you or not, keep relying on these time-tested marketing principles. They’re not going anywhere.   With 20+ years in the communications/marketing biz, we’ve seen enough trends and trouble to know what works, and what doesn’t.  Let’s talk.

Comments
  • I don’t know if I agree with the phone call thing. I think its a generational thing. If people want to be personal, then they meet up, if they want to be convenient they shoot a text. I feel like in my experience the phone call has always been a last resort and/or when rapid response is required.

    • Tyr — fair point on the phone call. What I would say is that “the personal call” shouldn’t end up on the “B” list for communication, but we should be prepared to properly respond to the question, “how does my audience want to be communicated with?” whether it’s mass marketing, client follow up, or reaching out to grandma. ADG is a service business. Part of how we serve is meeting our clients/partners/friends where they are. I’m considering the benefits of carrier pigeon and the forgotten art of the message in a bottle. 🙂

  • Speaking to the power of the personal call, I think this generalization doesn’t hold up when you consider the cold call. This is a big question for photographers trying market themselves to art buyers and I’m curious to know how you (potential art buyers) feel about this issue. Being that marketing is what you do, I would think a cold call would be welcome and respected if the caller has done the research. I have found this not to be the case though. Thoughts?

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About ADG

ADG Creative is a strategic communications firm specializing in branding, interactive, learning and gaming, and software development. We combine process, experience and extraordinary creative talent to tell our customers' stories in unique, memorable and usually unexpected ways, leveraging both conventional and new media platforms.