Before the internet and the age of digital, people only shopped at local community businesses. These businesses knew their clientele personally, and offered an adapted customer experience to meet their needs. What’s more, if a local business failed a customer, they felt the shame from the entire community: word-of-mouth was everything.
But the consumer landscape has changed in recent decades, and most consumers now buy from national and global retailers rather than locally owned businesses.
This is a huge change from relationship marketing, which previously focused on long-term customer satisfaction. These days, the push for successful companies to go public and maximize quarterly gains is often more about short-term profits than goodwill and focus on the customer. Think about it – when was the last time you had a customer service experience from a public company that didn’t feel like they were reading off a script?
Fortunately, at Take the Stairs, we believe that the new digital age is ushering in the death of transactional marketing in favor of more effective brand marketing. By working with the right marketing consultants you can push a unique and authentic message that will actually resonate with your audience.
What is transactional marketing?
The Integrated Marketing Association identifies transactional marketing as a common, traditional marketing strategy that centers on individual point-of-sale business transactions. In a nutshell, it’s marketing to attract one-off sales.
Furthermore, the strategy behind transactional marketing efforts has been to display the services or product offered with a promotion or simple announcement of what the company sells, and let the market decide if it was an attractive proposition.
The point is simple: saying what you do or offering one-off promotions is simply not enough to build a sustainable customer base that provides the revenue you need to keep scaling your business.
To compete in a digital landscape that provides consumers with more alternatives than ever before, you need to understand what’s valuable about your business, what potential customers are most likely to find valuable, and how to promote this message specifically to those people.
Four reasons why transactional marketing is canceled
A large part of our marketing consulting services revolves around teaching small business owners how to let go of a familiar, but antiquated, transactional marketing mindset. Our digital marketing packages help companies get their business back on track with marketing strategies for the modern age.
The consumer has more options than ever before for buying whatever they want
Google (and other search engines) have changed the game in terms of meeting consumer demands, so consumers are no longer limited to the products and services available in their town. This has leveled the playing field in some respects, but also makes it harder to stand out with a generic message about your offerings.
For example, you used to go to the local butcher if you wanted freshly cut meat. Then came supermarkets, online options (like Butcher Box), and being able to find butchers slightly outside of your town. Now, advertising with a message like “We sell meat” isn’t unique to your target community, because consumers have so many options.
As any digital marketing consultant for small businesses will tell you, you need to take it a step further by providing unique value propositions to your prospective customers. Unique value propositions tell your target audience how you’re different from the competitors in a way that they’ll appreciate and respond to.
Buying from large brands feels more safe
There’s a lot of talk these days about supporting small businesses, but the truth is that a lot of people prefer to buy online from national brands. This can be a combination of any number of factors:
- Brand recognition makes people feel more comfortable
- Online shopping is convenient
- Many large-scale online stores can offer better pricing
All of these factors combined help make Amazon the largest online retailer the world has ever seen, year-after-year.
You need to work smarter, not just harder to stand out from large corporations.
Remember, national competitors are pumping out hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising (if not more) every year just to get noticed. So in order to set your business apart, you need to work smarter and harder to gain brand value.
After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they recognize. It takes a targeted message to break through people’s consciousness and get them to try your product.
When you don’t advertise, your brand starts with little to no brand value, hence the term “brand-new”. Working with a marketing consulting team can help you get past this by creating a unique, targeted marketing message.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it
Simon Sinek’s brilliant TED talk brought us the concept that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
People prefer to do business with companies that share their values, and your company’s “why” is the reason they’ll choose you over your competitors, regardless of the price point.
One of the first jobs of a digital marketing consultant for a small business is helping a company uncover their “why,” because everything else will be built around it.
Many people are dissatisfied with corporations that focus less on purpose and more on profits
If your company is focusing on a purpose-driven approach rather than a profit-driven one, you can take market share away from larger corporations by being the change customers are looking for in an industry.
How to bring your marketing into the 21st century
Ready to trade in outdated marketing strategies for ones that suit the digital age? We believe that the following three steps are so vital to business success, that we include them in each of our digital marketing packages.
Discover your why
Your “why” helps you clearly communicate your vision and purpose so they resonate with your target audience. This results in loyal customers that will tell everyone they know about you; allowing you to get more “bang for your buck” when advertising.
As a digital marketing consultant for small business, we love helping people find their “why”. In fact, we have a course that does just that as part of our digital marketing packages.
Build buyer personas
In order to reach the audience that your message most resonates with, you have to understand who they are. Using detailed buyer personas not only helps you reach people who are more likely to buy, but it can help save advertising budget on a select group rather than trying to reach as many people as you can.
As part of our marketing consulting services, we can help you create the ideal customer profile so you know exactly who you’re trying to reach.
Use value differentiators
In order to sell your offerings effectively, you need to offer customers something that your competitors can’t.
According to Business Insider, Amazon became the most valuable brand in 2019 which they can heavily attribute to their highly-tangible value differentiator of two day shipping for Amazon customers, a business activity that no other business was offering at the time. When people recognize the convenience of this value add, referrals for Prime sky-rocketed along with revenue. In 2017, the international global powerhouse, Walmart, also added two-day shipping. Although this was a value-add to their customers did it increase their stock the same way it did for Amazon? The popular opinion would be no. The reason? It wasn’t different, it was just them catching up to the changing landscape of consumer buying. The point being, if you want to take a portion of market share, you must offer something that is both valuable and unique to get customers knocking on your door over any of your competitors.
Our marketing consultants can help you give people a clear reason why they should choose you instead of the competition.
Learn brand marketing to get your business back on track
When all is said and done, transactional marketing just isn’t enough to compete in today’s business landscape. If you want repeat business, you need to work for it, by utilizing brand marketing to secure loyal customers and repeat business.
Need help with your digital marketing? Our marketing consulting and brand marketing agency can get you back on track and teach you the skills you need to stay there. Contact us now to set up a discovery meeting.