Once upon a time there was a land far, far away where unicorns played in fields of golden sunflowers as a rainbow backlit the blue sky. In this wonderland marketers always said the correct thing and email open rates were always 100 percent.
This is a total pipe dream, yet marketers still shoot for that level of perfection every day. We are stuck in the mindset of the "Golden Pen," thinking one perfectly written message is all we need to generate marketing success.
The Golden Pen style of marketing is largely based on the concepts of mass media. It is a workaround we have created as marketers to compensate for a lack of proper technology. However, this mindset started to subside with the introduction of social media. Social media asked marketers to consider a two-way communication style, and to begin understanding consumers as individuals. Marketing changed from yelling to conversations when marketing became social, and this Golden Pen concept started to fade as well.
If you think I'm suggesting marketers stop putting time into their copy and subject lines, I am not. What I am proposing is considering a new golden rule of marketing: be relevant.
For years, consumers have been put off by mass marketing because it was not relevant to them. It was just noise. It got so bad we created sub-industries to help people get around mass marketing. Companies like TiVo are making millions helping people avoid television advertising. They are taking advantage of how bad marketing has become, and proving consumers only want to see relevant messages.
Being relevant is the key to the new golden rule of marketing, but being relevant in modern times means something very different than it did 20 years ago. Marketing automation has given birth to large-scale individual tracking, and the ability for dynamic marketing. This technology allows us to take relevance to an entirely new level, and allows for marketers to get one step closer to those 100 percent open rates.
To follow the new golden rule of marketing we only need to understand three basic principles:
In this modern marketing world, try to follow the new golden rule, and remember, you are marketing to people just like you. Respect their wishes and do your best to always be relevant, and be relevant on an individual level. Consider looking at your marketing in stages to help you manage this process, and use velocity to judge the effectiveness of those campaigns.
Golden Pen image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Mathew is the head of thought leadership for B2B marketing at Pardot, a Salesforce.com Company. A consummate writer, he has been featured in numerous publications such as Marketing Automation Times, DemandGen Report, Marketing Sherpa, ZDNet, and is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummeis (Published by Wiley February 2014). As a speaker Mathew speaks around the world at events such as Conversion Conference, Dreamforce, SugarCon, and to companies including Microsoft, Investec, NetJets, and Restaurants.com, to name a few.
March 19, 2014