Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Age of Empowerment

This year, someone asked me for a screencast demonstrating how to use one of our products.  Normally, we publish very polished videos that take a long time to produce.  Not wanting to spend any time on this, I just created a sloppy screencast video that was very chatty and had some dumb jokes in it.  To my amazement, that video outperformed all of our polished, videos with the slick animations and sound tracks.

I asked myself how this could be.  There were only two things that set this screencast apart from our other videos: 1) it was personal and chatty, and 2) it showed people how to do something they may not have known how to do before. This led me to a realization — the market has shifted from a producer/consumer relationship to one that more resembles that of a mentor/protégé.

The difference between the 2oth and 21st Centuries is this; we now live in the Age of Empowerment, People no longer want to just buy something out of the box if they can possibly do it themselves, acquire new skills and save money.  People want to know more because knowledge is power. So, the more you can empower people, the more they will like you and your products.  Additionally, people no longer want to be sold. Instead of having a slick presentation thrown at them, they would prefer to be engaged by a personality they see as authentic and credible, who will help them achieve a new level of proficiency or capability.  This is huge.

Although reach and frequency is still kind in marketing, the way you engage your customers should change from impersonal to personal and from enticement to education and empowerment. If you help your customers to be better and do better, they will stop seeing you as just another company trying to sell them something and start seeing you as a resource and an authority. Who knows, maybe they'll start to see you as a friend too, and that's not bad either.

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