We are living in a world of constant streams of information. There’s the physical world, where we are constantly exposed to various messaging via billboards, outdoor advertisements, radio, TV and so on, and there’s the virtual world (internet) where we’re connected 24/7.
We are bombarded with messages from all directions, and this is where the challenge lies when looking at the scenario from a marketer’s point of view.
We should not make our consumers feel they are being bombarded
Long gone are the days when we used to ‘push’ marketing messages to the masses and they would accept it all without complaints. Long gone are the days when they would buy what we told them to buy. Times have changed.
As the world evolves, so do people. We find new ways of consuming products and services, we discover alternative ways of connecting with the companies and brands behind products and services – and in the midst of the much talked about digital revolution, we have become more demanding consumers than ever.
As marketers, we need to move away from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ marketing
We need to bring more emotional intelligence and empathy to the strategies we utilise to deploy our marketing campaigns, in order to make them stand out and drive effective results and traction amongst our desired target market.
We need to invest more time and thought in thoroughly understanding our target audiences and our consumers. We need to get into the mind-set of our customers, and we need to provide solutions to their problems.
We need to realise it’s all about ‘me-marketing’ which can be fuelled by ‘re-targeting’.
Currently the marketing industry is still focusing too much on ‘push’ marketing. Sure, the methods of targeting the correct audiences have got more sophisticated than they were at the start of the millennium; however we are still implementing tactics that are not in-line with the fast evolving savvy consumer.
As a digital marketing agency, or indeed as a marketer in an in-house team, we strive to drive relevant visitors to our or our client’s websites, social media pages and other properties that can be tagged and tracked online. We target and we re-target.
We are still pushing too much
We need to take a step back. Do we truly know how our customers behave, what their wants and needs are, and indeed – are we the ones to fulfil those needs?
Let’s take a look at why we are doing what we are doing:
- We want to sell
- We want to engage
- We want to create communities
- We want repeat business
How we do this, is still not granular or good enough for the savvy consumer of today. We need to dive deeper. We need to know our consumer inside out (without being creepy) and we need to be there for them when they need our products or services.
Transforming statistics into individuals
We need to transform numbers and statistics within our reporting dashboards into people and pools of intentions. We need to understand that we are dealing with individual personalities, views, opinions, experiences and cultures.
Perhaps this sounds like an impossible and time-consuming task to do, however as the consumers and ways of practising business evolve, we as marketers need to find better, more powerful and efficient ways of delivering to this ‘me’ conscious, savvy consumer.
Make your customer your brand ambassador
Now that we know we are here to serve (yes, serve) our customers in a more in-depth manner, we need to ensure we continue to know our customer profiles:
- Listen to your customer
Execute a comprehensive market research piece on where your potential customers spend their time, which online platforms they use on a regular basis and what needs and wants they need fulfilled (by you).
- Add value
Ensure the products and services you are selling, are actually enhancing and improving your customer’s life (whether professional or personal). It’s not just about selling a product or service anymore; it’s being part of the solution.
- The law of attraction
Rather than ranting and raving about how good and great your products and services are, try to attract the customer towards you, because you stand for something bigger than just a brand name. Define your values, mission and purpose.
- Respect your customer
Always keep your customers at the core of everything you do. Don’t go overboard with re-targeting, upselling or getting over-confident in thinking they will always come back to you. It’s a relationship that goes both ways. Just like a marriage, you need to work on your customer relationships – continuously, with empathy and emotion in mind.