Fact: We live in a world that is constantly moving at what feels like the speed of light. Always on, always connected, always changing, expectations set at fast, faster, and fastest. If it’s tough for Joe Public to keep up with this 200 MPH pace, imagine how difficult it is for brands.
Everyone wants results, and they want them yesterday. But there’s something that happens when we constantly function at a breakneck pace: We miss things. Balls get dropped. Incorrect information gets posted on social media accounts. Crucial client and/or customer issues get missed, or worse, bypassed completely.
So how do we “keep up with the Joneses,” so to speak, and stay on top of what’s happening in the digital space, yet somehow solve the problems that come with such rapidity?
The Rise of Slow Marketing
Slow marketing is exactly what it sounds like. Being able to slow down just enough to identify—and act on—those key moments that will help your business grow faster. And it is something you are going to be hearing a lot more about, especially as we hurtle toward 2017.
Now, for those of you scratching your heads, we’re not advising putting the brakes on to the point where you fall behind your competitors and peers. Rather, the goal is to embrace the “slow” at the right moments, in order to fuel the fast.
Key Areas in Which to “Go Slow”
While your entire marketing team shouldn’t slow down, it will pay to have certain areas or certain team members reduce the pace. And, if you think the idea of determining who or which department should focus on the slow seems a little overwhelming, here’s a quick cheat to help you get started.
Writing in a recent IBM.com article, Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ann Handley (who is—full disclosure—also Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs), suggests asking yourself this question about every part of your marketing: So what?
She expands: “In a broader marketing context, this question and this exercise can help you reframe a product or service as a clear value for the customer. It’s becomes a shortcut–or a kind of “hack”—to insert customer empathy. If you slow and ask yourself this question about every marketing program and every piece of content you create as part of that program—you will serve your customer, and not your brand. You’ll avoid talking about you. Instead you’ll talk about what matters to the people you are trying to reach. You’ll put your products in the context of their lives… instead of the other way around. The ’So what?’ question is an empathy shortcut, and it’s also a humility shortcut. It takes you out of the story–and puts your audience at the heart of it.”
And we all know that in this day and age of “customer experience focused” marketing, even slowing down that much, and focusing on the customer, turning the mirror away from the brand and toward the consumer, and doing so with humility and empathy, will stand you well when it comes to the success of your campaigns.
Slow marketing as a concept is here to stay. It’s a natural “push back” if you will, an attempt to balance the scales of speed and immediacy and create a bit of space to think and feel. Start small, but start. Because while “time is money,” we also know that “slow and steady wins the race.”