Marketing is about more than advertisements.
Global Digital Marketing Consultant Swan Sit believes marketing is centered around creating markets—no matter the industry.
“It’s about product market fit, understanding your consumer, having a product that suits them, and getting it into their hands,” says Sit, who spoke Wednesday at the 2022 Co-op THINK Conference in Chicago. “You want awareness, but you have to have relevance that leads to conversion.”
Sit, who has led digital transformation teams at Nike, Revlon, and Estee Lauder, has observed people react to Web1 (the dot-com era) and Web2 (social media).
“At the beginning of Web1, how many of us said we’d never buy anything online?” Sit says. “Then Web2 happened and we said, ‘I don’t care about social, I don’t want to put my life on display, and I don’t care what this influencer had for breakfast.’ Then, social media helped get us through the pandemic.”
She believes the adaptations of the web have caught on because it’s all based on understanding consumers. Sit built a large Clubhouse following by creating online, audio-only versions of shows like The Apprentice, Shark Tank, and The Bachelor.
But she saw her following jump into the millions when she started authentically answering audience questions.
“The ability to have real conversations and not be afraid to get into the mushy stuff is what resonates with consumers,” Sit says. “What it really solidified for me was the people were my product. They’re not fans, they’re not followers, they’re my community. If I don’t treat them with care, respect, and inclusion, then I’ve got nothing.”
Intimacy and authenticity are more important than a platform’s bells and whistles, she adds.
Sit believes brands and businesses can build communities by understanding their consumers and creating authentic moments. She suggests businesses must take this approach to Web3, which removes middlemen so consumers are not just at the center, they are in control.
Adapting Web3 requires credit unions to continue to focus on serving members, she says. Sit believes Web3’s applications for the credit union industry are endless, recommending credit unions be open to opportunities and asking what they can accomplish as early adopters of this technology.
“Understand members’ life journey,” she advises. “As people make choices, we understand them and empathy. That’s what building a brand is all about. Determine what journey they are on and what they need, and find the right products.”