The New Rules of Marketing and PR- David Meerman Scott

What works in the past does not mean it works now, just like marketing. With the presence of digital marketing, our perception and strategies to promote our brand has to change as well. Learn the best tips and tricks of marketing in digital era from this book!

I have to admit that this is one of my university module’s textbook for Digital Marketing. Just a quick background of me (news flash!): In my 1.5 years of uni, I’ve tried my best not to purchase those overpriced textbooks that I would only be used for 1 semester. Thus, making my relationship with any kind of textbook a non-existent one. 

However, this book is an exception.-and I mean it. It all began when I accompanied my friend to buy this book while I took a quick browse on it. I was instantly compelled to read more because it simply doesn’t sound like the normal boring textbook ranting about theories and ideas. I love how David uses casual, blogging-style language to express his ideas. I am glad that the unit coordinator chose this book as required reading. I would have to say that this is the best textbook I ever read over the past 2.5 years of my university life. Below I would outline the key ideas that David discusses in his book.

1. Buyer persona?

As a marketing student, knowing your persona has always been the first crucial step in every marketing planning. Apart from the usual research on knowing their problem or the type of media platforms, he highlighted the importance of timing and language- something that we often underestimated about. Timing refers to the right time to interrupt consumers with our message. To do so, marketers should understand both consumer’s daily life and general habit. As an example, British Airways Safety video that featured iconic people such as Rowan Atkinson’s and Gordon Ramsay is released on July- a peak period of travel. The timing here has been carefully selected to reach a larger audience.

Next, language is simply talking in our consumers’ language. This means that no more of the company’s jargon and instead, utilising keywords and phrases that consumers’ use. This could be obtained from interviews, surveys and online search terms. Speaking their language not only build trust but touch on their emotion as well.

2. Creating free thoughtful content

David mentioned that a website should to help potential consumers’ make a purchase decision and not merely advertising. How can we help them? By solving and answering their problems. An example that I could come up with is creating a website for an office furniture company that runs B2B. As a business seeking for office furniture, they have a different set of concerns to be addressed- budget, delivery time, type of furniture, and so on.

The website should be able to satisfy these concerns through various content forms such as a blog, photo, infographic or even downloadable documents: A blog on latest office layout plan, free design quotation, checklist PDF on things to do before renovating your office, and many more.

However, just a piece of my thought here, the idea of sharing free knowledge seemed to be a burden for the company. For businesses, why put time and effort into something that would be free? This is an important issue to address because what they fail to understand is that this information would help them market their business even more and attract consumers. As a consumer, who doesn’t like free information right?

3. Posting rules

David’s posting rule: 85% sharing and engaging, 10% publishing original content, 5% what you promote. As much as he emphasised on crafting and disseminating original content, the key ingredient to have is engagement. The web itself is not a one-way interruption, is about 2-ways conversation. There are 2 types of result you could receive; high reach but low yield or low reach but high yield. The former is essential when you are building brand awareness for your brand while the latter is a very targeted campaign. Engagement could be done in many ways, encourage people to contact you through the call-to-action button, answer their queries, engage them in a conversation/ games/ competition and even live video.

Similarly, according to Social Media Today on content marketing, the last thing that your consumer wants is more content. Facebook has altered its newsfeed algorithm that requires businesses to have more engaging, interesting and meaningful content to be shown on your newsfeed. In the long term, having positively engaged consumers would turn into loyal fanbase.

This book is the first textbook that I enjoyed reading and I would strongly recommend to anyone-even when you are not learning marketing or have a basic understanding of it.

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