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There is an important shift happening on the global marketing scene these days.

Slowly but surely, an increasing number of companies have started to see marketing as something they are pleased to invest in rather than a cost to be born begrudgingly. Furthermore, many professionals are interested in how to be better marketers.

This shift in business mindset has not materialized out of thin air. There have been a lot of factors that contributed to the beginning of a so-called global marketing revolution. Sick and tired of a “buy, buy, buy” approach, aggressive ads, pushy marketing tricks, and annoying promotions, people have developed what we call “ad blindness.” As a result, traditional marketing tips and approaches started to lose their efficiency.

So we’ve stepped into the new age of marketing, an age where customers are always put first, and added value is considered the new normal. This new age in marketing is about creating useful ads.

Also known as customer-centric or empathetic marketing, value-added marketing is based on the idea that exceeding customer expectations is the best way to success. To be more specific, it is the fastest and cheapest way to fuel loyalty of customers, turn them into brand ambassadors, gain positive reviews.

Value-added marketing is not a brain surgery. Neither is it an approach that requires cosmic budgeting or radical changes of standard business processes. Any business, without exception, can switch to a more value-added approach almost in a heartbeat.

Here is how.

Marketing Tips for Creating the Best, Useful Ads

Look at Your Business Through The Eyes of Your Customer

Since the major idea of value-added marketing is to bring extra value to customers, the first step a brand should take is to define what in particular would be considered valuable for its target audience. This is where looking at things from a customer’s perspective comes into play.

Walking a mile in your customers’ shoes is crucial for understanding their pains, wants, and needs. This information is essential for creating a quality value-added proposition. Once a brand starts to understand its audience, it becomes a lot easier to come up with ideas that will eventually turn this brand into a customer-centric one.

To see your brand or a brand of your client from a customer’s perspective is tricky but possible. Be creative: talk to returned customers and ask what makes them return; talk to one-time customers to find out why they never came back; ask your friends and family to use your product or service and give honest feedback.

Recognize the Importance of Content Marketing

Like it or not, content reigns supreme.

This is especially true now, when the fight for customers’ attention becomes increasingly tough. Being a manufacturer or a service provider is no longer enough. To win the fight for customer attention, money, and loyalty, a brand needs to become a trustworthy source of information and support. Naturally, useful and interesting marketing becomes paramount.

Producing sportswear? Help your customers learn the principles of healthy workouts, educate them on the topic of sports nutrition, support their efforts to become fit by creating motivational communities or shooting inspirational videos. The bottom line is that you create content that will build and support your authority in the field within which you are operating.

Become a source of information your customers will rely on, earn their trust, and you will earn their loyalty, too.

Incorporate the Voice of Customers Into Decision-Making

As a business owner or a marketer, you are likely inclined to look at things from a (purely) money-making perspective. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this mindset, it can make you unable to see obvious areas for improvements.

While you are the driver of long-term strategic vision for your company, getting there demands understanding your customers. The truth is that nobody knows a product or service better than its customers. Not even brand owners or marketers themselves. That’s why it is so important to let customers speak up, listen to what they say, no matter good or bad, and base major strategic and marketing decision on their opinions and views.

How to translate this into action? It’s fairly simple. Try focus groups, online polls, competitions, test drives.

A Final Word About Value-Added Marketing

As the old marketing adage goes, people don’t buy products or services, they buy solutions to their problems. If you wonder how to be a better marketer, build your marketing strategy with this thought in mind.

Brands and marketers should recognize that going the “extra mile” is the new normal. Educating customers and helping them grow, supporting them with extra service or advice, and making decisions based on their feedback is the only way to win today’s marketing fight.