A cursory Google search for “marketing tips” yields a predictable number of articles promising the secrets to effective marketing and the best practices for winning the marketing game for a leg up above the competition.

Mastering SEO, gathering analytics like clockwork, investing in paid search & social  — all of these are intended to make marketing easier, but often these articles miss one key ingredient. Remember, at its core, marketing is the study and management of consumer and exchange relationships. Sometimes, we could all use a bit of a reminder of what lies at the center of all of this data and strategy and execution, marketing’s driving force.

Consumer relationships are all at once complex and simple. They’re complex in that they’re influenced by a wide variety of factors as well as in the fact that they grow and change over time. This means that marketing, as an industry, must always be willing to adapt to the latest trends in consumer behavior.

Conversely, consumer relationships are also rather simple to understand. Consumers, for the most part, want to feel that spending their hard-earned money or giving away their valuable data is getting them something they need or want in return. Whether this means donating to the right nonprofit, choosing the right restaurant, or making the perfect purchase, a common theme remains: value. Brands must always position their wares in a valuable way that consumers can easily see. This is a maddeningly simple concept.

Because of the latter, it’s important to cultivate the skill of thinking like a consumer. And everyone possesses this skill! After all, everyone is a consumer of something. So use this personal experience to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and think about how to best connect with them.

Often, we forget about the simple things when we get caught up in the technological advances of the marketing industry. We forget about the simple ways marketers and copywriters used to reach people: by coming up with a concept that draws attention and inspires action. If a brand’s marketing strategy is faltering, it may be high time to visit those simpler days for inspiration.

Granted, consumers now have much more to contend with when it comes to managing their attention spans. With the rise in mobile devices and digital marketing, brands must now not only come up with a creative marketing concept, but they must also find innovative ways to implement these strategies, a way to be heard in a crowded room.

A digital marketer’s job is anything but simple, but it’s still vital to remember that marketing is a simple concept, at the end of the day. Think of what marketing efforts have reached you, as a consumer. Think of the television commercials that resonate with you, the LinkedIn post that inspired you the other day, the social media ad that caught your eye while scrolling through the News Feed. All of these ideas were conceptualized by another marketer, somewhere else, trying to see the world through your eyes.

In a crowded and very loud industry, it can be overwhelming to know how to stand out and make an impression (and a lasting one, at that) on consumers. Remember what it is that most consumers want, take a look at what you as a consumer would connect with, and build a strategy from this. Simple, yet effective.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations

5wpr ceo ronn torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.