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Allison MelnikAugust 6, 20194 min read

Book Clubbin': How to Better Your Marketing with Empathy and Service

IMG_3815Editor’s Note: The Book Clubbin’ series recaps business and marketing related books read by the PR 20/20 team each quarter as part of the agency book club. This series will highlight key takeaways and top tips directly from each book club book.

Marketing is everywhere, whether you realize it or not. Businesses rely on marketing to fuel their overall success, and consumers rely on it to educate themselves on the purchases they plan to make.

Although marketing has been around for ages, how have new consumer demands shifted the way we market? According to our recent book club book, This is Marketing by Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog), it’s time for a change. Godin states: 

“It’s time to do something else with marketing. To make things better. To cause a change you’d like to see in the world. To grow your project, sure, but mostly to serve the people you care about.” 

So, how can you better your marketing? According to Godin, it starts with empathy and service. 

Understand the five steps of marketing.

Marketing is so much more than pumping money into a campaign to sell a product or service. Unfortunately, pushing beyond this thought process is easier said than done. 

Godin hones in on why it’s important to look beyond simply selling your company, product or service to focus on how marketers can better connect with their audiences. This can be done by understanding how humans dream, decide and act. To help work towards this mindset and get started on marketing your company, Godin overviews marketing in five simple steps: 

  • Step one: Invent something worth making, with a story worth telling and a contribution worth talking about. 
  • Step two: Design and build your “thing” in a way that a few people will benefit from and care about. 
  • Step three: Tell a story that matches the built-in narrative and dreams of that tiny group of people.
  • Step four: Get everyone excited about spreading the word. 
  • Step five: Show up regularly, consistently and generously to organize, lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make.

Follow these steps to consistently deliver your target audiences something they want, and in turn, they will spread the love for your product or service. 

Change through stories, connections and experiences.

When people are looking for a specific product or service, in reality they are actually looking for something that will help alleviate a problem they have. Additionally, they are often seeking a brand that gives them a “good feeling,” one they can connect and grow with. Godin states that as marketers, we have the opportunity to do just that through the following:

  • Telling stories 
  • Making connections 
  • Creating experiences 

Marketers must look beyond the product or service alone, and instead focus on how they can make the customer’s overall experience exceptional. Do this by truly listening to the market and customer demands to fuel communication, quality customer service and personal relationship with your audiences. 

Reach the right people, at the right time.

Let’s face it: your product or service is not meant for everyone, which means it shouldn’t be marketed with a one-size-fits-all approach. 

As mentioned earlier, Godin focuses on the importance of finding your niche group of people. Find the audience that is desperately seeking the solution you provide. Strive to connect with that specific group of people to deliver the best possible products and services, in addition to strong storytelling, connections and experiences. 

Godin suggests making brand marketing a top priority. Rather than focusing on direct marketing (ex: paid ads), consider how your brand interacts with others. From your logo to product packaging, to the way your employees answer the phone, every little detail matters.

While focusing on your brand marketing is often more difficult to measure than a paid advertisement, the risk is worth the reward. Happy customers are your greatest asset to fuel your brand’s success. 

Do your homework to ensure you are understanding your audience and how they want to be reached to better deliver the message and customer service they want to receive. 

Commit to change. 

Before implementing any of the above tactics, it’s critical to understand how this strategy will impact your marketing moving forward. Fueling your marketing strategies with empathy and quality service is not something that should be implemented halfway. Listen to your audience and their specific needs. Work diligently to provide an impactful experience they are sure to remember. Ensure creating a lasting relationship with your customers is at the top of your priority list. 

Your customers are your biggest fans and champions. So why not treat them as such, all the time? 

As Godin states in his book, by bettering marketing it “invites us in and gives us a chance to seek dramatic improvement on those we seek to serve.”

Fuel knowledge through the power of reading.

Each quarter, the PR 20/20 team reads a business and/or marketing-related book to keep up with the latest industry trends and spark creativity. Check out our most recent posts from the Book Clubbin’ series to discover key takeaways from our selected books: 

Be the first to know about the latest marketing news, tips and best practices. Subscribe to our blog today.

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Allison Melnik

Allison Melnik is a consultant at PR 20/20. She is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University with a concentration in organizational communications and public relations. Full bio.