Advertising is a very loud noise and getting louder. But unfortunately many feel the answer is to just amp it up and scream louder in search of the elusive Share of Voice. But what if instead of shouting, you whisper?
Think about it. You're at a cocktail party or crowded room -- you hear the din but then when someone says something you really want to hear, what do you do? You give them your ear and they speak directly to you - point blank. They are no more than an inch from you. Inside your personal space. And what happens? You hear them. No matter how loud all the other noise is, you hear the whisper. You grant them a level of access that you simply won't give to the rest of the room and in return you hear what you want to hear versus what the room might want you to hear.
If you want to be successful today, whisper. Sure you'll need to do a bit of shouting too -- after all, that loud noise does succeed in gaining someone's attention. Just doesn't do such a good job in keeping it.
Use Twitter, Facebook, email and your blog. Try direct mail, hell maybe even telephone if done right. Whichever is the channel your customer favors, but whisper. Don't just take my word for it. Test. Move 10% of your ad budget into your whisper budget. Give your customers a chance to let you into their personal space. Let them sign up for Twitter specials or use your Facebook page to learn how to cook their favorite dish. Set up a text code for complaints or a mobile friendly blog where they can register their unhappiness anonymously. Call them to remind them of an upcoming payment or send them a simple thank you note for their patronage. Whatever form it takes, just make sure it is personal and quiet - no starbursts please.
I'm betting you'll have happier customers, a better feedback loop and long-term, better sales. Let me know what you think. Heck, after you try it, let me know how it works for you. I love case studies.