Next time you prepare to launch a new marketing campaign, go see what your Twitter followers are saying about your business. They may have already discovered the edge that you are looking for.
You might not find it within your executive circle, by developing a marketing strategy to sell down to your customers. Not in today’s competitive environment of savvy consumers. We must start, as authors Al Ries and Jack Trout say, from the bottom-up.
In their book, Bottom-Up Marketing, Ries and Trout examine successful advertising campaigns that were created through the mind of the marketplace. Responding to consumer activity and working within its lines of communication, companies like Domino’s Pizza and Vicks discovered their marketing ‘tactic’: the single idea that defines the service or product, and sets it apart from its competitors.
This ‘tactic’ doesn’t necessitate superiority over the other guys. It’s more about finding what’s different about a product or service in a beneficial way, and pushing it for all its worth.
Today, you can find out what the consumer thinks of your product or service through a number of ‘bottom-up’ platforms. Blogs, RSS feeds, social software (like Flickr.com), and of course, social media, all encourage “the online masses [to] organize themselves, their content, and their attention,” creating grassroots conversations that marketers can learn from, and develop strategies (Karpinski).
Social media seems like the obvious one. As Smashing Magazine contributor Paul Boag says, “your website should be the hub of social interaction, not sitting on the sidelines.” Managing this anchor of communication for your business basically requires involvement in the platforms of the day: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
However, engaging with your client base through these platforms is only as beneficial to your marketing plans as you allow things to be adaptable. Bottom-up marketing is often improvisational: you need to respond quickly to complaints and suggestions, and modify the plan as you go.
And let’s remember that users will chat openly when it’s easy and the task is specific. Your users are volunteering their insights, on their time. Nothing is less motivating than arbitrary social media plug-ins, littering a web page without any calls-to-action.
Boag believes that “whether we are considering what car to buy, where to eat out or what school to send our kids to, we like to ask our friends.” With bottom-up marketing, your customers are your friends. They are savvy. They can sniff out misleading messages and know when they’re being talked down to.
Find your way into the real conversations about your business with bottom-up marketing tactics. It’s crucial to start with a plan, and strive to represent yourself with an intelligent, influential voice.
Let’s talk more about social media strategies that really get conversations going. Check back soon, friends!
Boag, Paul. “Social Media Is A Part Of The User Experience.” 4 June 2012. SmashingMagazine.com: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/06/04/social-media-is-a-part-of-the-user-experience/
Karpinski, Richard. “The next phase: Bottom-up marketing.” 2005. Btobonline.com: http://www.keystonemarketing.ca/siteadmin/articles/images/2_1.pdf
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