the marketing shift of the 21st century

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”
Tom Fishburne
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Marketing is communication. Remove the fancy terminology, peel back layers of complicated structures, and what you’re left with is a simple truth: being good at marketing means being good at talking to people in a way that will make them listen for as long as possible. 

Years ago, that might have meant memorable slogans and pushy sales-people. Later on, it was flashy characters and catchy tunes. Decade after decade, the way we approached audiences all over the globe adapted to accommodate new developments and trends.

And today, well, it all morphed into something else entirely.

See, the 21st century is where it gets complicated: few things have undergone such deep and unexpected changes as the way we communicate, regardless of scale or reason. From new technologies to different psychosocial tendencies, the way we experience the world is shifting under the influence of countless factors.

The implications are vast, but they all boil down to one conclusion: to remain effective in a new, digital, international, inter-connected world, marketing too had to go through some changes. And change it did.

One only needs to try out a simple exercise to quickly understand what we’re talking about: take a moment to think of your favourite brands. Then, think about why you like them. 

Do this a couple of times and you will realize that, in spite of the fact that they most likely provide you with products or services that you use at varying frequency, these are not the main reason behind your preference. Beyond practicality, it’s about the way your interaction makes you feel. About the story that starts unfolding in your mind, the one made up of all the tiny details you might have never noticed, be those colors or sounds or a particular choice of words. 

Simply put, in the 21st century, good marketing isn’t about your products, or your new deals or your pretty packaging, but about the experiences you’re able to create around them. Your potential customer might have more money to spend, a higher chance of finding out about you, but their impulse to invest won’t come solely because you provide a solution to their problem. They will invest because you are able to design an experience they want to be part of.

This is where your content strategy comes in. A brand that pulls people in is one that tells a story and tells it well. Think of the pieces of content you publish as the building bricks of, well, you – coming together to craft an image your audience won’t be able to resist. 

It’s exactly because of this that we’re aiming to help you create better content – you know, the kind that really expands your reach and amplifies your impact. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to tweak your strategy, there’s a few things you should keep in mind – luckily, we’ve outlined them all below. 

1. don’t focus on yourself

In the words of Emmy-winning TV producer and brand strategist David Beebe, content marketing is much like a first date – if all you do is talk about yourself, your chances of scoring a second date are slim, to put it lightly. Pulling people in is all about proving yourself valuable, so try marketing your business in ways that highlight your expertise by touching upon your customers’ needs, rather than populating your channels with empty claims.

#remember: a smart content strategy will make your customer feel like it’s all about them and very little about you.

2. meet your customer where they are

Regardless of what you do, there’s going to some things that your potential customers deeply care about, and some others that they’re most certainly going to overlook. Your main job? You guessed it – figure out what the important stuff is and focus on that. When it comes to building a successful content strategy, your own preferences, intuition or assumptions about what the audience wants should matter much less than hard data, so make it a point to conduct thorough research about your customer base and use it to provide them with what they need, when they need it.

#remember: catering to everyone means catering to no-one in particular – be relevant for those who matter.

3. don’t try to be everywhere at once

Whether you’re just starting out or have already put some big milestones behind you, managing your resources as smartly and efficiently as possible should be a priority. A strong presence is less about exploiting every new trend or producing for every single channel, and more about maintaining a regular schedule that your audience can reliably count on. Rather than stretching yourself too thin, try focusing on your customers’ preferred platforms and maximizing every interaction.

#remember: remaining relevant means you should keep a finger on the pulse, but you should not forget to filter and prioritise.

4. make quality a non-negotiable

In an era of mass-production, with both companies and individuals spewing out content faster than it can be re-shared, you might be tempted to become lenient when it comes to your quality standards, as long as it increases your publishing capacity. Our advice? To put it simply – just don’t. While quantity does definitely not exclude quality, it can be hard, especially for growing ventures, to support a high content volume while providing the same value. Instead, focus on fewer pieces that are expertly crafted to suit your audience and maintain a consistent schedule.  

#remember: it might take multiple interactions to acquire a customer, but one mistake can turn them away for good.

5. play the long game

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and creating the type of brand experience that will pull people in definitely won’t be either. Make it a goal to constantly analyze your results and adapt based on the gathered insights, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet all your goals as soon as you share your first post – your performance is bound to change for the better as long as you remain consistent and focus on providing your audience with valuable content. 

#remember: building trust takes time, but it’s what will ultimately make the difference by guaranteeing you a loyal following.

Building a content strategy is no easy feat, but luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. At Papis&Mamis, we’re experts in telling the kind of stories that enable your customers to experience.

If you are looking for guidance or want to learn more about how we can support your content needs, you can drop us a message on social media or contact us here.