The Future of Business
The biggest thing in marketing today and perhaps in business in the last 20 years, is owning media. Look at the largest companies in the world. Netflix, Disney, Facebook, and Google. All media. Huge media companies that own the attention of billions.
Media is defined as mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the internet) regarded collectively. You have many customers, and often for you to put food on the table let alone develop profits, you will have a group of people that all have similar problems that you can help solve. Frankly, you wouldn’t be in business and you should start pivoting.
But who owns your customers? Facebook? Instagram? These platforms are for-profit publicly traded companies that I can guarantee will keep their best interests in mind. How can you communicate to your customers on a mass scale, quickly and efficiently?
One on one conversations doesn’t count. And sending a massive text message doesn’t count, unless, it’s a designated group (more on this later).
As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to own your own media. How?
Yup, email. But email is dead? Really? It turns out the “Millenials” that were up and coming and will disrupt email all got work emails. It turns out most companies communicate over email and not on social media.
If done right email marketing can be an extremely valuable tool. Let’s think about this for a second.
Imagine if you had every customer in a data bank where you can easily send them a message about the problem in which you solve, or a brand new product. If you have a Facebook page and a bunch of followers, for you to get every single person to open and see that post you will need to invest in boosting that post. With email, there is none of that.
This is where you get extremely valuable qualitative data for your market segment, reach campaign, and ideas for additional products.
There are a number of ways to build a community. You can do so on Facebook through a private group, in which case you can still request emails. Or you can develop a group chat on telegram, what’s app etc. Or you can kick it old school and actually have in-person meetups. Regardless, as stated above, you are serving this community.
Think prime. Why is amazon successful? There are many reasons, but perhaps none greater than their prime commitment. Not only does prime provide you with a whole host of features and benefits, but what it gives amazon is commitment. How often do you even think to shop Walmart online, or Canadian Tire online? You will often look to shop on Amazon because you have already committed to being part of their network.
Costco works similarly with their membership. Is there membership a revenue driver? Not really, it’s pretty inexpensive compared to the vast volumes of products that leave that store daily. It’s a little commitment that you make to going to Costco. To use what you have bought, which is access into the store. From Costco’s perspective is commitment.
How can you offer your customers the opportunity to be part of your membership? It’s not quite a subscription per say.
The value of a paid community with your brand also means some of the best data you will find. You have those that are committed to using your product/service so much that they are willing to pay money. These people are great people to talk to as to why they shop for you. What can be done better etc.
Amazon Prime members are carefully analyzed and most of the membership is data-driven. To serve them better, Amazon requests payment to analyze their shopping behaviour so that they can sell more stuff. Why would customers buy into it? Look at the benefits, they are just enough to add a little more comfort into our lives.
The Future of eCommerce is This
First off, Ryan Diess, if you aren’t following him for business advice and expertise, do so. He is highly intelligent. He has built multiple companies and best of all, the grandfather of digital marketing who doesn’t get sucked into the digital marketing crap that is out there.
In this video, he makes the case that the future of eCommerce, is to own your media.
What can you own?