I strongly believe, that there is a lot of truth in this posting. But it is hard, to change behavior and wait for the customer to make the first move, as Gerry McGovern writes.
Traditional communications and marketing are built on a belief that if you can be creative enough with the message you can grab customer attention. Proponents of this ethos are used to getting out in front of the customer and placing big messages in front of them. They love campaigns in which they bombard customers with specific messages for a specific period of time. And then they move on to the next campaign.
They think they can change the customer’s journey. They think they can change the customer’s mind with marketing magic. In the age of the empowered customer — who is cynical and skeptical towards brands and organizations — these marketing and communications campaigns will increasingly end in failure.
Today, we are more likely to be successful if we wait for the customer to make the first move. Searching is like advertising in reverse. The words that customers place in the search box are ads — their ads. On the Web, the customer is the communicator and marketer. There is a reversal of roles.
Help the customer on their journey. Don’t try to change their mind, help them expand it. Expand their horizon based on the choices they already intend to make. Give them alternatives that are directly connected with what they want to do. More than anything else: be helpful.