Can you advertise without advertising? The short answer is no, the long answer is a bit more complicated. The consumer of today has advertisement blindness and ignores traditional advertisement. So how is it possible to get your advertisement through closed eyes, it is not, but it is possible to open they eyes to see your brand if you deliver non-advertisement-advertisement. But how is that possible, by focusing on key strategic elements: Relationship, Authentic Content, Human and Storyline or RACHS
The key to long-term loyalty from your customers is relationship and it is two-way communication. The rise of SoMe has create a highly complex world of shifting loyalties and options for consumers, you need to address this. First focus on establishment two-way communication, the consumer expects to hear from you when you are mentioned, or they make contact. The last year we have seeing companies addressing this with chatbots, ticket systems and so on. The conversation to meet consumers two-way communication demands is a new battlefield. Master this and the complex world will allow you to build relationship that will last a lifetime! It will allow you to winner consumer by being present. This will strengthen a word of mouth strategy and create reference points for consumers.
Authentic is a word that has been thrown around the last decade, what does it truly mean. To me, it means being genuine and real. Is this even possible in a world of fake news, fake accounts and in a world where everything needs to have a shining image? Before we can be authentic, we need to investigate ourselves and get to know how and what we are as a brand. This should be basic to understand, but to many companies lose themselves as they grow or have very similar values and proposition as their competitors. To break this cycle focus on what makes you special and move past the words. Just think how many in your line business use the word innovative or environmentally friendly? We use meaningless words without thinking about if they fit you company or what it means for the company. Being Authentic starts with being honest to yourself. If you are authentic in what you do, then consumer and customers will connect with you and they will make advertisement for you.
Content is how you engage and meet your consumer and customers daily. This is about opening their eyes to you and have them use their Content eyes instead of advertisement eyes. Content can be a tricky thing, it is about understanding the consumer and what connects to their feelings. Whenever you create content think of what feeling you want to connect with. To change the perspective the consumer has when it sees you, you need to connect with a natural felling. The stronger feelings could be humor, the feeling of fitting, or outrage. Your brand has something within itself that allows you to use every feeling depending of what reaction you want. Content is an eye opener if done right, you can break the barrier between what is content and what is none-advertisement-advertisement. Content is never easy, so do not take it lightly.
Remember connection and communication needs the human touch. The consumer or customer is a human so the interactions you design and do needs to be design for a human and not a static robot. The other side of communication is you. The system and people that is setting up the communication or interaction needs to be able to accept fails and learn from it. We are all human and everything we do it has to take account to human error from both consumer/customer side, but also our own side.
Human makes you relatable, the bigger the company the hard it is to be human. So, tell you brand from the human perspective and let consumers connect with this. Being human changes the way the consumer sees you and makes you connectable and relatable. It makes them change eyes from advertisement to content eyes.
It also makes it easy to connect to feelings of the consumer/Customer.
The world is complex, and the consumer want to co-create. But Co-Creation is a complex thing in a SoMe world. The key is to not tell a story, but a storyline so the consumer has to fill in the blanks when the knowledge the has about you or makes them seek out the information. By building a storyline you control the facts and not the world. It means you are adapting to the world you are acting in and allowing the consumer to Co-Create the full story with they own facts and stories. It will make you connectable and make consumer think of you as a content creator instead of a advertiser.
- Advertisement vs non-advertisement
The final word comes with the simple difference in approaches. Advertisement is short term strategy with simple and straight forward KPIs. Advertisement do not build relationship or loyalty. But advertisement supports non-advertisement. Non-advertisement is a long-term strategy which has its core in building a relationship with your consumers and customers. It is about increasing loyalty by sending an authentic storyline to you consumers. KPIs can be very complex if you work with the psychology behind the action and reactions. Work the non-advertisement not the advertisement!
Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.