Slow Marketing & How It Can Work For You
Everybody wants instant success. I’m going to start off by saying that I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A lot of people who advocate slow marketing disagree with many of the principles set out by those pushing to create overnight successes via marketing.
Being passionate about an idea, living and breathing it and wanting it to offer instant impact to your audience isn’t a bad thing. As long as you’re realistic about the fact that might not happen and still keep going with the idea anyway.
What Is Slow Marketing?
Slow marketing isn’t a new concept, but it has gained some traction in the past few months. The idea is that you slow down your marketing approach so you’re able to clearly stay on track of your original goals. For example, if your goal is to deliver exemplary customer service, a plan which focuses on exponential growth is going to hinder that goal. If you’ve got orders coming in every second, that’s great, but if you don’t have a process in place to deal with queries, requests etc. then you’re not focussing on your original goal.
As a result, slow marketing focuses on building meaningful, long-term relationships with customers. Those customers, in turn, become brand ambassadors for your business. It’s not just about customer/client focus though.
Slow marketing is all about creating excellent content. By spending time on your website, blog, videos, social media etc. you are marketing yourself in an indirect way.
If you were practising ‘fast marketing’ and you’ve had a slow week, you might be tempted to throw something together offering discounts on your products or you may use terminology like ‘only three spaces left’ or ‘only one room available at this price’ to scare people into a sale.
If you were taking a slower approach, you might put together a shareable, long-form blog post, a beautiful video showcasing a product or a Facebook lead ad encouraging customers to sign up to receive something of truly added value.
Is It Worth Doing?
Slow marketing is a great approach because your customers don’t feel as though they’re being sold to. Marketing is usually unsuccessful when people feel as though they’re being hounded. Hence why door-to-door salespeople have such a bad reputation.
When potential customers have a query, don’t just try to sell your products as a solution, but offer them a balanced and strong answer. For example; if you sell coffee grinders and a potential customer uses the hashtag #coffee to ask the community what to look for in a good coffee grinder, forcing your product upon them doesn’t answer the question. Offer your expert suggestions but don’t put your product underneath. 9/10 times, if your answer is helpful, they’ll make their way to your website regardless.
Remember, though, if you are going to take this approach, don’t do it just because you think it’s another thing to do to try to make sales. Building engagement and a rapport with your customers is worth way more than a singular sale. It takes one bad experience (particularly when you’re a small or new business) for customers to look elsewhere. I know brands need to make money to stay afloat, but don’t forget your morals in the process.
How Do I Implement This Style Of Marketing?
It’s important – first and foremost – to decide whether your business would benefit from this. Typically, this kind of approach works best for smaller businesses. It gives you a chance to get to know your audience on a deeper level. For start-ups, this approach can work really well. So, you’ve decided this approach would work for your brand; how do you best implement this type of marketing?
- Find out what makes your audience tick. I don’t just mean from a sales perspective, either. What do they do with their days? What challenges do they face daily? What sort of social media accounts do they follow? What do they spend their commute doing? These little questions might not relate directly to sales, but they help you to know your audience on a deeper level.
- Armed with this knowledge, think of ways you can enrich their lives for free. If you sell paint supplies, offer free online painting tutorials. If you sell cookie cutters, create a biscuit recipe book. The list is endless but remember this should be free. At the very least you should be creating regular blog posts filled with information you know your audience will enjoy.
- Be consistent. If the blog post that took your five hours to write doesn’t go viral overnight, don’t give up. Share your work, interact with your audience and continue to create genuinely great content and you will get there.
- Be a person! When I owned my first PR company, I used to get involved in so many blogger and writer chats. I received so many messages from people thanking me for my input. It was genuine – I wasn’t trying to get anything out of it – but I did get something out of it as a result.
What Not To Do
It’s my personal opinion that bombarding people with offers only really works if you want to place yourself in the market as a discount brand. If your product or service is really worth it, then people should have to pay for it. More importantly, if it’s really good, they will want to pay for it. Don’t cheapen your brand for quick results. You’ll end up giving away your product for next to nothing and the type of customer you attract will then expect the product to always be on offer at that really low price.
If you want to stay true to the slow marketing approach (and keep your integrity intact) don’t use sentences like ‘buy this if you’re serious about your business’ and ‘We don’t want people buying from us unless they’re serious about their brand’. I would say that this happens more often than not when companies are offering services over products. But, it’s always important to keep a check on your tone of voice.
I hope you find this approach helpful. I’d love to know how you’ve got on with this strategy if you use it yourself, too!