The more things change, the more things stay the same. Today, we have enterprise inbound marketing, social media, CRM integration and a boatload of shiny technologies that help us get our message out. And that's all very good. But as we prepare to flip the page to 2013, let's take a look back 100 years and see what hasn't changed and what has worked in spite of (or alongside) all the fancy technologies we have today.
Major brands like Prada, Aston Martin and Clorox were born in 1913. They've stood the test of time while also keeping up with the times. But let's not forget the basics. Regardless of the content that you create or the advertising you do in 2013, here are some things that will resonate just as much in 2013 as they did in 1913.
People Still Sell To People - sure we buy knick-knacks at dollar stores or items online that may not necessarily involve human interaction. But in larger, more meaningful deals and sales - people will interact with each other. Yes, the excellent content you create in 2013 and the thoughtful, targeted emails you send will nurture folks down your sales funnel. That's all very important. But, at some point, whether you're a landscaper or a wind turbine manufacturer, a potential customer will want to get on the phone with someone from your company and have a real conversation - just like people did in 1913. And that conversation or series of conversations will likely determine whether you seal the deal - or not.
People Will Still Talk About Your Product - Whether they post pictures of your product on Facebook or they tell friends about it at the gym, people will still be discussing your product. And if your product sucks, people will find out. The solution? Don't build sucky products and depend on marketing to sell them - that's a broken model. Build excellent products that are supported by your marketing efforts.
Referrals Still Matter - in 1916, Annie Murray, wife of early Clorox investor William Murray, gave away free samples of Clorox at her grocery store while espousing its benefits. Consumers (they probably weren't called that in 1916) started telling their friends about Clorox and increasing demand. In a more modern example, we love referrals from our partner HubSpot. We know that HubSpot has taken some time to understand a referral's needs and has directed them to us because we can best fulfill those needs - and that's something we tremendously value.
So yes in 2013 you still need to nurture leads down your funnel and integrate sales and marketing data properly. But don't forget about the elements of marketing and selling that will never truly change.