Why the Employee Evolution Matters to Marketing
I started looking at this image and compared to my own journey over the last 10 years and saw a lot of similarities. Being focused on helping companies market to the IT buyer, I wondered how would this impact my clients' ability to market their solutions when the "evolved employee" is their "evolved" buyer.
First off, here's the complete image:
Assuming this image to be accurate for the tech buyer, there are a few things marketing needs to consider:
A greater sense of "what's in it for me?" - the evolved buyer has reached a point where they are empowering themselves with the devices that make them productive, the tools that allow them to get their work done, and are focusing on demonstrating their value. What to do about it: When you market a solution, you can't focus on just features and options; your marketing needs to focus on how it will help them be more effective at their job. So stop putting the proverbial "About Us slide" at the beginning of your presentations, your webcasts, your web content, and at trade shows and focus on the problems the buyer cares about instead.
A Love for Simplification over Complication - the evolved buyer is focused on working anytime, anywhere, seeking to be as efficient as possible to find a work-life balance. What to do about it: As marketers, we need to focus now, more than ever, on building content, messaging, and web experiences that get to the point as quickly as possible - if it takes a lot of work to get what you're offering, they'll assume the product is no better and move on.
A Desire to be an Expert - When you put concepts like "becoming a leader", "creating your own ladder", and "sharing information", you begin to see how the evolved employee wants to establish themselves as a subject matter expert to propel themselves further along their career. What to do about it: Not every buyer is a creator of content, but is a curator of content they found helpful. You need to provide relevant, sharable, and useful content that the buyer will want to consume themselves and share with their peers. Webcasts, whitepapers, blogs, and other content are still viable; it's the content within that will make the difference. So if all your posts, say, here on LinkedIn are about what your company is doing next, they're going to simply scroll on down. Provide value that engages and educates. Once you do that, you'll have their attention to evangelize your products.
There's probably some more gems hidden in this image, but I think these three are a good start. The world isn't changing; it already has changed. It's time to update your marketing tactics.