We recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Eric Bishop of Rockfish Interactive, who shared a quote that really resonated with us:
“Consumers will build relationships with brands that respect them.” In the spirit of customer respect, here are some tactical steps brands can take to show respect for their targets.
According to a recent Forbes article, “Relationships between people and brands have moved beyond marketing-led transactions to user-led demand.” This idea parallels an insight from our latest Marketing Organizational Leadership interview with Chris Morrison: In a dynamic digital environment, prospects may move on before you ever knew they were prospects. How do you break through the advertising clutter and encourage your prospects to convert? In marketing communications, the new mantra is respect.
1. Optimize your website for the shift. Because power is now in the hands of the consumer to research and evaluate your brand online, the information you provide on your website should assist with the sales cycle at the segment level. Whether your business focus is B2B or B2C, what matters most is that you have identified your target customer segments and deliver personalized and localized content to those segments. Here are some “quick hits” to help optimize your website for respecting your targets:
- Create microsites and landing pages with content tailored to target customer segments
- Leverage a variety of media to communicate with prospects about your products and services, such as videos embedded in PURLs, blog posts, social media and email newsletters
- From your public website, enable prospects to opt-in to receiving email communications on topics of interests to soften leads and nurture prospect relationships over time
- Create specific content for each of your target segments in your content marketing strategy
2. Make communications relevant. A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing communications is no longer relevant – or effective. A marketing resource management system can help you to manage and localize marketing campaigns by enabling your field sales force to modify messaging so it is more targeted to the recipient’s needs and interests. Continuity campaigns can be designed to provide relevant communications over time, addressing targets in each stage in the sales cycle.
3. Be creative with retention strategies. Once you’ve done the hard work of gaining a new customer, it’s important to retain your customers by staying in touch and keeping content relevant. Leverage customer satisfaction surveys to check your organizational pulse, learn about sales service gaps, and solicit ideas from your customers for improving your core products and services. After all, successful marketing in the digital age is all about relationships. Once you’ve done the hard work to acquire new customers, it’s important to stay in contact with them and add value over time so they don’t drift away to a competitor.
With more consumers researching their buying decisions online, it’s important to optimize your website to provide segment-based content and insights to help promote the sale. Make sure communications are relevant and personalized, not intrusive. Finally, customer respect doesn’t end with the sale. Use proactive retention strategies to retain customers and earn their ongoing respect and business.
How do your marketing communications leverage customer data and insights to show respect for your targets?