Adapt or …

Adapt or …

“Publish or perish,” that was a common saying when I worked in a lab.  Now as a marketer, I sometimes wonder what would be equivalent to that in this field? “Adapt or perish” comes to mind. In my case, that is like teaching a middle-aged dog new tricks, but I certainly do not want to perish yet.

It is painfully obvious things that used to work handsomely, just don’t work anymore. According to HubSpot’s Global Interruptive Ads Survey conducted in 2016, 94% of all consumers skip television ads completely, 94% unsubscribe from email, 27% throw away direct mail before reading it, and 50% are on the national do not call registry.

I am writing a few articles on business trends and what you can do to capitalize on them. I hope you find this first one informative:

  • Encourage your customers to talk about you on social media. Your customers can be your greatest advocates. People are much more likely to embrace your product if they hear good things from a consumer, especially a friend than from a marketer. These comments are perceived to be more objective and unbiased. So, establish dialog with your customers on social media and encourage people who use your products to share their thoughts with others.
  • Selling is not just for people called sales reps. We need to cultivate a sales culture throughout the organization. Each touch point with customers, no matter what your specific role is, can be an opportunity to sell. Implementing such an initiative has other advantages. It builds camaraderie within the workforce, breeds oneness of purpose, and establishes a more consistent and coherent message for the customers.
  • Incorporate content marketing as a selling tool. Content marketing can be defined as creating and disseminating fresh and relevant information to an audience of interest to increase sales. In the last few years, content marketing is consistently ranked as the most important marketing activity by companies ahead of predictive customer analytics through big data and social media marketing. Dissemination Insightful articles frequently can be a game-changer. You provide information that your prospects thirst for, and they will keep coming back to the well.
  • Instead of being suspicious of millennials, embrace them: According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials (born between 1982 and 2002) are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation. This means that they will soon become your largest customer and employee base. It is imperative that your company appeals to these adults.

Many descriptions of millennials are less than complimentary. The stereotype is that they act entitled and are not interested in paying their dues to advance in their careers. They need constant positive reinforcement and be given a trophy for just showing up and asking them to come to the office daily can be a deal-breaker. Since ignoring them is not an option, we need to figure out what makes them tick and adapt our work processes to be an attractive employer and business for them. Millennials gravitate towards companies that are socially responsible through involvement in charitable work, have good online presence, flexible work options, a collaborative culture, and continuing education opportunities. So how can your company make some changes to appeal to millennials? Make your website responsive on mobile devices and easy to navigate. Support a cause that you are passionate about and millennials would be appreciative and would want to support you. Also, have greater flexibility and create opportunities for working from home, at least occasionally. Have a program for partial tuition reimbursement for commitment to a certain amount of service.

These are just a few ideas. I’d love to hear what fresh ideas you may have implemented to attract millennials to your organization. — Brad Saeed,