How can we make our marketing better?
You’re asking the wrong question.
You get way better answers by asking: Why isn’t our marketing working?
In this Takeover episode, host Ethan Beute speaks with Mathew Sweezey, Director of Market Strategy at Salesforce and author of “The Context Marketing Revolution,” about how his work is answering this fundamental question.
It’s all about the buy-in
Every year at Salesforce, Mathew and his team conduct a “State of Marketing” event, wherein they analyze the secrets to the most high-performing marketing teams out there.
For the past 5 years, the key indicator has been the same:
Specifically, buy-in to a new idea of marketing.
“The number one key trait of all high performers is executive buy-in to a new idea of marketing.”
In fact, teams that have this buy-in are 10 times more likely to be significantly beating their direct competition.
And with it as a foundation, then more intuitive answers begin to impact results: collaboration, consistency, and cross-department communication.
So, what’s the foundation?
You’ve probably already guessed.
Experience is everything these days.
In fact, 84% of consumers say experience is just as important as the product or the service.
One could go even further and argue it’s more important — it’s the one thing that touches every interaction your customers have with your brand.
If you want to position your company to succeed, you need the higher-ups to understand this.
“Your executives have to understand that the highest economic output that you can produce is the experience.”
Once experience is the driving force behind your decisions as a company, everything else falls into place.
It becomes obvious that, in order to provide the best experience for the consumer, you need to collaborate and de-silo your teams.
You need to provide experiences that are not only great but consistently great.
Your marketing needs to revolve around experience at all times. Especially in today’s changing marketing landscape.
And you do that through context.
Context vs. attention
In the old days, marketing had one purpose: capturing attention.
That’s how we ended up with hilarious commercials for something as unfunny as car insurance. It’s why sex was used to sell burgers, of all things.
Anything to capture attention.
But these days, attention isn’t enough.
We need context.
“In the limited media era we tried to grab someone’s attention. That was how we motivated people to action. Now we motivate people by context.”
That’s why Mathew is championing context marketing, a revolution in how we solve the biggest marketing problem of the present.
We live in an era of infinite media.
Mathew has researched the amount of noise marketers have had to contend with over the years — from 1900 to projections as far as 2030 — and studied the cost of breaking through.
He found an exponential increase in noise in recent years, which is only going to get worse.
The foundation of attention is fundamentally broken — the costs just simply aren’t worth it anymore.
There is no limit to the amount of media out there. You can’t expect to capture everyone’s attention through a TV ad, a popular newspaper, or a flashy billboard.
The noise is infinite.
Instead of doubling down on old ideas that won’t carry us into the future, we need a new foundation.
For Mathew, that’s context.
With no barriers in the way of anyone creating media — a quick search of YouTube shows that if you can think of it, someone has already made it — consumers operate in a different world.
They have a different decision-making process. They have access to more information comparing products.
They have all the power in their buying decisions.
You can no longer slap them across the face with a sexy hamburger ad to grab their attention and hope to win them over. It’s not a one-and-done campaign.
Instead, it’s a journey.
And marketing is all about being there for each step, guiding the consumer without trying to skip steps.
Take content, for example. No one wakes up thinking I could go for some good content today.
No, they have a goal. Content is about helping the consumer achieve a goal, not an end unto itself.
By giving context all along the journey, you build trust, provide value and keep your brand in the customer’s mind.
And best of all, you don’t need to compete with the noise.
This post is based on a podcast with Mathew Sweezey. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here or anywhere you listen to podcasts.