Research shows that sales and advertising professionals are listed fourth in the least trusted professions, behind the likes of lawyers and car sales people, and it seems wherever we go, our reputation precedes us. So why don’t people like advertisers and sales people?
“Because they’re slimy and try to get us to do something we don’t want to,” said principal of marketing insights at Salesforce, Matt Sweezey.
Instead, Sweezey insists we have to be “contextual, authentic and help someone fulfil a purpose”.
“Then you’re no longer a slimy advertising professional, you’re something positive and relevant in their life. But you might be relevant in this moment and not the next, so you have to know when you’re relevant and contextual.”
Context is everything, according to Sweezey, who stressed at the Salesforce Future of Marketing conference that you’ve got a limited amount of time to convince a person your services are relevant.
“How many pages on average does a person go to on a website?” he asked. The answer, 1.7 pages, means that most people never make it to the second page of your site.
“So when you land on that website and don’t find what you want, you bounce. The moment a person lands on your website you have to give them exactly what they want or you’re going to lose them.”
This then comes down to authenticity, Sweezey says, and in the eyes of most consumers, Google is the authoritative and authentic voice they’re looking for.
“Google can give me what I’m looking for much faster than your website can. So I’m not going to spend time on your website, I’m going to go back to Google.
“If you’re going to buy something worth $1000 you’re going to go to Google and ask some questions. Research shows that each time you go back to Google, you’re asking new questions. And you’re going back on average two to three times.
“These are not in entire life cycles, that’s just in the time period before going over to sales.”
Sweezey explained the process of a ‘micro journey’, wherein you might be scrolling through your Facebook feed in the middle of looking for something else. You see a video that piques your interest – a new bike perhaps – and before you know it you’re watching the video, looking at the new bike on their website, before you realise you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and go back to what you were doing to begin with.
“That journey,” Sweezey says, “lasts about 70 seconds, and usually goes across about four different websites.
“You’re competing in a world where everyone has a deeper level and assumption of permission, and when everyone has permission to market to people, only the most contextual message gets engaged with.”
Think about the value of social media, he said, and in particular, the very moment your consumers are bored, looking for something to engage with.
“Social media is the modern day smoke-break,” Sweezey said. “You can’t smoke within 15 metres of the door in this place but you can go on Facebook and waste 15 minutes and get the same satisfaction.
“The idea social media doesn’t work is wrong, you’re just using it in the wrong way. Context must be dynamic.
“You’ll only be engaged with if you’re the most contextual option available.”