Get Seen, Get Heard
Your customers are bombarded with marketing messages. Email marketing, SMS text messaging, newsletters, direct mail, social media advertising, and more. How can you compete with all that clutter? Step away from the noise and get back to the basics of great marketing.
1. Find a true differentiator.
Everyone has quality products and great service these days. What makes your products and services unique? Do you serve a specific niche? Do you have a different approach to a specific problem or technology? Define what truly separates you from the pack. Make that the focus of your marketing.
2. Find the right positioning.
How is your competition positioned? How are they differentiating? Knowing this, you can position yourself accordingly. If your competition is focusing on price, perhaps you should focus on features. If they are using email and Web marketing, maybe you should use print. Use what you know about your competition to maximize your advantage in messaging and visibility.
3. Target your messaging.
Don’t just know your competition. Know your customers. Divide your marketing list into targeted demographic or psychographic segments so that you can adjust your message accordingly. If desired, layer personalization on top.
4. Know your media.
Personalization includes media preferences. Know which channels your customers are most likely to respond to. Some people prefer to click through a link on a personalized email. Others prefer a phone number on a direct mail piece. Yet others prefer to scan a QR Code. Knowing your customers’ channel preferences is a critical aspect of “personalizing” the delivery.
5. Layer up.
Great marketing is never about a single channel, no matter how effective it might be. The best marketing layers multiple channels to touch customers in different ways at different times. Use inbound marketing techniques to get people to fill out an online survey, then follow up with a personalized direct mail piece or brochure. Or send a postcard, then follow up with an email to boost response.
Busting through the clutter starts with having a powerful brand, knowing the techniques of your competition and the preferences of your customers, and targeting your message. Then you can take advantage of techniques such as cross-media, personalization, and triggered messaging to get you in front of the right person at the right time.
Build Business By Building Relationships
Want to sell more? Try building relationships with your customers. Yes, it really can be that simple. People like to do business with people. More specifically, they like to do business with people who care about them, who listen to what they have to say, and who are accessible and responsive to their needs. By using the variety of tools in your marketing arsenal, you can build relationships that keep your customers engaged and loyal.
What tools do you have at your disposal?
Newsletters, direct mail letters, postcards, and other printed materials are great relationship builders. As you use these tools, don’t always be trying to sell something. Share information. Give advice. Provide useful resources so that your customers look forward to each communication. Consider selecting interesting or unusual substrates, folds, and bindings that take advantage of the unique, tangible characteristics of print. Data. Knowing your customers helps deepen relationships over time. You will speak differently to the Gen-X crowd than you will to Baby Boomers. You will speak ifferently to a recent college graduate than you will to the head of a household with children. Using data doesn’t have to mean full personalization, although it can. Segmenting into different target audiences can also be highly effective by allowing you to speak to customers based on their common interests.
Every marketing channel has its own sweet spots, so understand the power of each channel and maximize it. Print creates the sense of gravitas and trust. Email and mobile allow immediate communication and facilitate clickthrough feedback. Social media fosters long-term engagement and community building. Understanding the sweet spots of each medium and layering them over time reinforces your brand and helps you stay top of mind.
Personalized URLs allow you to connect with customers and get their feedback using a simple, personalized online interface. By asking their opinions on products, services, and their experience with your company, personalized URLs let people know that you care and that their voices are being heard. It also gathers additional information on those customers so you can better target and customize communications with them in the future. Relationships require two-way communication!
Social media is not a sales channel. It is a relationship channel. Use social media to engage your customers in a larger community. Get your team members interacting with your customers as genuine, caring human beings. Have your team participate in discussions (whether on your sites or third-party sites) so your customers know you are really listening. Sponsor contests. Create discussions around the culture of your business, or fun and unusual ways to use your products.
Regardless of the channels you are using, ensure that your phone number, Web address, and links to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest boards are included and clearly visible. Give customers multiple ways to contact you and encourage them to do so in the ways they feel most comfortable.
As a marketer, you have tremendous resources for building long-lasting, positive relationships with your customers. Need help using them? Give us a call!