Get Over Yourself. Let’s Talk More About Me. And the Marketers Who Get That Consumer Mindset - The Past 10 Years of Direct Marketing Part 4
[Editor's Note: This is the fourth article in an eight-part, weekly series.]
It's never been clearer than while researching this article that consumers aren't thinking about you at all—ever. They're looking for themselves in you, if they notice you at all. How do you make them look? How do you make them feel? Which of their problems do you solve? What does spending time and money with you get them? Noticed? Affirmed? Appreciated? If not by their friends, then by you?
Sure, it's possible that, over time, customers can start to think of you as you and not an extension of themselves. But those are customers. We're talking consumers, here. They expect you to care about them.
Some legacy brands get it—Oreo. Coke. Nike. Ford.
Some new ones understand, too—Spanx. Apple. Amazon. Pete Holmes. Huh? I'll explain.
Some legacy brands understand that concept, too. Sure, there's the time Oreo tweeted during the Super Bowl blackout that disappointed fans could dunk sandwich cookies in the dark. But the snack first marketed in 1912 still continues to join in on today's conversations. On July 15, tweeting along with everyone else who came up with a comment about this trending topic, @Oreo writes: "It's not you, it's milk. #WorstBreakUpExcuse." Within an hour, 220 Twitter users retweeted the quote and 107 favorited it.
You could argue that both of those brands are specifically trying to appeal to younger consumers. There may be some truth in that. But it's not just Millennials who seem averse to hearing marketing messages.
For instance, back in the day, comedian Bill Hicks suggested marketers kill themselves. The message in his 1990s standup routines was that marketers were evil. That's a purely negative sentiment. Now the message from the anti-marketing contingent is less angry, but just as effective. Brands having to market themselves directly without traditional campaigns now even include artists, because consumers are demanding it. So hugs replaced hate.