Growing your business starts with building an audience. Businesses today struggle with how to adapt to the changing environment and do not understand the importance of building relationships and attracting an audience first and migrating a portion to become a paying client. It’s understandable it is complicated and the simple solution is to just sell. But it’s no longer working right? Groundswell marketing is about incrementally and sustainably impacting your bottom line as a differentiated strategy from “buy now”.

Today’s marketers need to adjust to the rapidly changing digital landscape and its variable costs and waning attention span across social media. It’s never been more difficult to gain audience attention let alone subscribers. The new imperative is attention with subscription. Not separately but in tandem. – but at what cost?

The average cost of acquisition to a social platform is increasing year over year and once you have them subscribing what then? Anyone who has built a Facebook page following many years ago is currently face palming the algorithm and costs of reaching a small fraction of YOUR subscribers… or where they really yours?

According to Facebook, they are not. You should be paying access to gain attention to people who have opted in on that platform to hear from you. This puts into question the current focus on using social media as a marketing platform. Is it sustainable? I used to think so. Not now.

In fact, I think social media is losing its lustre in so many ways- however, what are the options? You can keep moving to chase the newest platform to find the “sweet spot” – however, that is an exhausting proposition and not really sustainable. In addition, miss-calibrating an investment can leave you high and dry. – how many companies put a significant investment in Snap Chat and when Instagram added stories… what happened? I am sure Snap Chat will continue to grow but the fact remains that we live in an environment that things are changing so fast that marketers are barely keeping up. Oh, wait. Now it’s Tic Tok. (things just keep on changing)

It feels to me that we need to regroup on the basics. Get back to grassroots marketing and re address social media and overall marketing digital platforms as an ecosystem, not a channel. I used to map out channels with their rules and strategize on how to leverage them.. and to a certain extend I still do, with one adjustment- I am looking at them less affection and comfort. I am looking at them as a small component of my overall strategies instead of key.

it gets noisy and crowded so quickly that you need to leverage what certain channels are good for and look for opportunities to do cross channel subscription and migration. Having a client subscribe across channels is ideal, since you need to engage with them wherever they are wherever possible. But what happened to the right message to the right person at the right time? Feels like that is getting difficult – sure with retargeting and profiling that exists but is it sustainable?

Groundswell marketing is about deeply engaging with an epicentre core audience and building from there. The reason for this approach is that it becomes less about acquisition and quick fixes and evolves into how to build growth on the strength of the core audience behaviour attributes and loyalty instead of focusing on “getting new clients” – that transactional turnover is costly but is where most businesses are focused on.

Shifting focus to the relationships requires more patience and time, something we are not used to or willing to do given the immediacy mindset we live in digitally. So I would suggest looking at it like a financial portfolio where you have long term and short term investments. – this will have you taking advantage and scratching the itch for the immediacy but also having a long-term play. If you can weave in your short-term quick hits to drip into a longer-term relationships strategy then your really maximizing the opportunity.