Cutting through the cacophony

As a denizen of the multiple media domains, and a public commuter, I noticed increasingly that there is a greater amount of commercial chatter practically every which way you turn.

Walk along the streets and a bus billboard pops out at you. Hop onto a bus and TV mobile assails you with its often inane programmes (Diva on a dime anyone?). Flip open the papers and ads stare back at you (including the ubiquitous Switch on the goggle box and be overpowered by commercials so mindless that you wonder why they bother in the first place.

Think you are safe online? Think again. With the increasing need to show ROI, even 2.0 strongholds are no longer safe from ever pervasive merchandising messages. Google ads are now so universal that they have started appearing even in personal blogs. Including this one.

How does one cut through the tirade of voices and make an impact as a marketer? Is there a way to get them to take notice of you and to pay attention? Can one hope to compete in world of ever shrinking attention spans across ever expanding channels?

I believe there is a way. The key is to educate your customer, be true to them and make them fans who rave about you.

Offer something that is genuinely useful to your customers. Information that can help them do better at whatever they do. Solutions that they can immediately adopt. Knowledge that can set them apart from their competitors in whatever worlds that they live in.

It is no longer enough to push products alone. You can never outbrand, outadvertise, outdiscount, and out-celebrity-endorse the competition. Why not instead offer something of real and enduring value to your customers? Better yet, help them to maximise the use of your product or service to achieve their goals. Train, teach and educate them. Set their imaginations free. Inspire and motivate them. Establish a real community and not just a coupon-cutting saving-chasing club.

Don't just stop there. Keep in constant contact with them even after the sale. Give them a call to ask how things are. Drop an email. Send them a card to show that you still remember them. If you have a blog, share your experiences with them. You will be surprised at how much difference such personal touches make.