A customer centric approach transcends the silos of digital vs physical marketing by utilizing a marketing strategy that prioritizes the interest of the consumers.
It’s no secret that Millennials have high expectations for their customer experience and offer a fierce brand loyalty in return. Millennials may be the outspoken voice leading the charge, but they have a significant influence on family spend and older generations of consumers are quickly following suit, showing affinity to brands who engage them with quality and authenticity.
So what can brands do to engage with Millennials consumers in a way that translates across generations and stays authentic to your brand? We believe the answer is integrating a customer centric approach to your overall marketing strategy and engaging with customers in a way that’s flexible enough to evolve as they do. Read on for our pillars of a customer centric marketing approach.
- Customer Communication: How you’re interacting with your customer sets the tone for the rest of your relationship. Are you talking at them or having a conversation with them? Millennials has a strong focus on quality and authenticity and want to see the brands they interact with be paying attention to them. A two way relationship is more valuable than a one way impression [+] and once trust has been established with Millennials, the transparency with their interactions creates a more valuable direct to consumer relationship. Social media and influencer marketing are a great tool for this as the younger generation is comfortable being completely transparent enabling brands with the chance to develop tailored campaigns by deep diving into their local differences and interacting with them in the manner that reflects how they want to be engaged.
- Concurrent Messaging: Ensuring that all of your channels are working together to get your message across creates a seamless end to end experience for your customer. Millennials is the first truly digital generation and enjoy actively engaging with brands whether that’s in physical experiences, social media or even participating in product design when given the opportunity. A recent study [footnote to link] advises that the key to winning the affinity of Millennials shoppers is by engaging their creativity, and ensuring they feel their values and preferences are being authentically acknowledged. In exchange for this high level of activity, they also have high standards for the opportunities brands create for them to partner with and simply targeting them with digital advertising won’t cut it you have to build out multiple channels and use them to engage this audience on multiple levels.
- Dig into Authenticity: In a nutshell, don’t be fake; they’ll see right through you. Millennials is practical yet skeptical and prefers to interact with brands who lead with authenticity and individualization. Interestingly, one way to approach this is by incorporating AR/VR into your in-store and online experiences allowing customers to view actual product and use cases they might encounter in real life. By encouraging hands on experiences that give a sense of surprise and delight and then rewarding participants you give consumers a sense of being a part of something and are allowing them to authentically contribute to your brand.
Millennials are setting the stage for how brands interact with consumers going forward. While there will always be shifts in the nature of marketing and advertising, the core values remain the same- stay true to your brand promise and engage with your consumer on their level and adapt based on how they respond
If you’re interested in having a no-pressure evaluation of your consumer experience, we’d love to chat. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smart brands know that an effective experience incites emotion and pays itself forward by creating a personal connection to your brand that lasts long after the event itself is over. You can probably guess what we’re getting at here- it’s time to start planning your 2019 SXSW experience. Check out some of our capabilities in the deck below and then let’s connect as we start to craft an event- retail, thought leadership, scavenger hunt & more- that makes your presence at SXSW memorable and beneficial for your brand.
Fall 2018 SXSW One Two Entertainment Deck by Elizabeth Hood
Thought leadership is one of many marketing tactics you can implement to garner awareness for your brand, but to be successful you might need to shift your idea of what its application looks like today. A phrase that once triggered the image of a suit on stage in a drafty hotel conference room, modern thought leadership has expanded to include podcasts, LinkedIn and even Instagram. Traditional thought leadership formats of white papers, speeches and articles seem rather dull with all the avenues available today and savvy brands have realized that the advent and mass adoption of social media has increased the opportunity for brands to share knowledge and add a little color to how they convey their subject matter expertise.
Elevating your brand via thought leadership requires effort to stand out, but successfully doing so and positioning yourself as an expert in the field you operate in is the kind of invaluable metric that will continue to pay itself forward as you build out your overall growth strategy. While such a competitive space might seem intimidating, implementing new formats gives you the opportunity to create a strategy that best suits your brand and personality and forge your own path. Use traditional outlets and combine them with more modern social platforms to allow you to practice your messaging in multiple formats and diversify your outreach.
So, where to start? As with any well intentioned plan, begin by visualizing your end goals and work backward. Who is your customer and what expertise are you looking to show them that you and your brand have? Ultimately, what message do you have that is worth sharing and how are you most comfortable delivering those insights? Once you have that in mind, you can develop a strategy that infuses modern media platforms into a more traditional thought leadership pathway. By creating a hybrid methodology, your outreach makes sense to reach your customer and you choose formats that showcase your strengths.
Here are a few keys to remember as your build out your thought leadership strategy and determine which platforms to utilize as you start implementing applications like LinkedIn, industry podcasts, Medium, Quora, and even Twitter into more traditional thought leadership routes.
- Quality trumps quantity. If your goal is to be considered a thought leader, you are asking your audience to consider you a subject matter expert. As such, you need to approach whatever medium you pursue to relay your information with a measured approach and pack in an appropriate amount of information for the amount of time you’re requesting from your audience. One great nugget can stand alone on Twitter or Instagram, but five insights are likely best delivered in a more long-form format like a blog. Don’t attempt to pack a check list into a social media snippet and likewise, don’t ask people to listen to a 25 minute speech for one piece of actionable insight.
- Do your research. Who is talking about your area of expertise and what are they discussing? Talk about something intriguing and design your message to work best within whatever format you choose. Guest speaking on a podcast? Come prepared with soundbites that reflect your range of knowledge but are condensed for on-air consumption. Don’t be afraid to add in humor when appropriate, either.
- Be solution focused. No one wants to hear a sales pitch- we can do that work on our own by visiting your website. Instead, present a compelling storyline based on a problem you personally have had or seen in your industry and offer actual solutions to resolve it. Take advantage of the show & tell nature of social media to help your audience visualize a process in real time and reinforce your expertise.
- Make the effort you’ve put in on social media inform your greater thought leadership goals. Since traditional thought leadership formats like speeches at a conference don’t see as many concrete metrics, ensure that your larger concept talks are successful by taking a look at which of your tweets, articles and podcasts have performed the best and use that information to shape your live presentations.
Although the shape of thought leadership has changed with the advent of social media, the goal is the same: adding credibility to you and your organization/brand by relaying knowledge and experiences that have informed your successes and failures. Genuine enthusiasm about your subject matter translates no matter the medium and utilizing multiple formats to build a collective body of work will provide the foundation for a successful and modern thought leadership platform for your brand.
The facts are simple: you can’t sell much until people know what it is that you’re selling. A product? A service? It’s a common misconception that you can blast ads and information all over social media and people will organically pick it up. You need to be highly methodical with who, what, where and when you are targeting your consumers. A deceptively simple concept, awareness is critical to your business goals but also one that can be glossed over with incorrect assumptions about your core demographic or the ease of understanding your product’s use.
Below we dig into awareness and create a checklist for things to look out for when creating the strategy you will use to enter into the public sphere, helping you avoid some common pitfalls along the way. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start spreading information and to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
Who is your target market? Have you researched thoroughly to see if you’re missing a key demographic?
It’s easy to assume you know your target, let me guess, 18-35… but you might be missing some key consumers that are outliers, so be sure to find out who has the buying power.
What drives your consumers? What are they passionate about, and how can you attach your product to these passion points?
The consumer experience should drive your marketing strategy. If you build core features into a product experience consumers are more willing to integrate it into their daily habits and share information organically with their peers.
What is the key takeaway you want for consumers? Are you consistent in your messaging? Do you have a firm identity?
Dig deep into what you want people to know about your brand and how you want them to absorb it. Then, give them clear actions to take. You should always use a consistent tone with your potential consumers. It’s never cute when someone thinks you’re being serious but you’re being sarcastic.
Is your content robust enough to get noticed? Are you word vomiting, or are you giving them something memorable through videos/images?
If your product is detailed and requires a robust explanation, figure out how to give them snackable content to consume in pieces. Attention spans are short, so use your time wisely.
What social platforms do your consumers use? What is the engagement/outcome you’re looking for?
Potential consumers absorb and engage on different platforms in different ways. Avoid pushing information at your potential consumers, and instead work on engaging with them by providing information that is relevant to their lives. Again, this creates an opportunity for them to share organically.
Influencers are key to awareness, but are they the right influencers with the right followers? How are you engaging your influencers and creating an authentic partnership for long term results?
The influencer space may be the wild west of marketing, but I have yet to see a successful campaign with an influencer that doesn’t genuinely care about the product. With small businesses, we recommend focusing on micro-influencers that have a niche following who will use and love your product rather than a bigger name who just wants the cash.
There you have it, a jumping off point for a whole heck of a lot more decisions. We’ve given you the WHAT and WHY here, if you want to chat more about the HOW- let’s set up a discovery call and see if our insights and two phase approach are the secret sauce to keep your brand awareness more fire and less Fyre Festival.