Doubling down on efforts to reach your customers as individuals is a smart way to stretch budgets and establish relationships.
by OTC Staff
What two evergreen challenges are faced by growing brands no matter the sector?
You’ve got it- budget and competition. Both are regular concerns brought up in initial client meetings, and there’s no silver bullet to eliminate them completely. Instead, we frequently recommend refocusing and doubling down on personalization in your marketing as a great way to combat these obstacles. Reaching customers in their inbox without a previously established relationship is pretty much a pipe dream, so what do you do to increase your brand’s reach to customers on an individual level? You need to personalize your brand’s consumer experience in a more holistic way.
It’s time to get busy. Rather than leaning into one channel, a holistic approach emphasizes utilizing a variety of resources to enhance every touchpoint consumers have with your brand and creating opportunities for them to do so. Email fatigue is at an all-time high and creating a more authentic experience to represent your brand will tell customers way more about who your brand is than an ad following them around on the internet. Settle in and let’s get personal on how to deliver more individualized messaging.
But I’m an influencer!
It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a lifestyle. Seriously, it’s probably only minutes away from being a college major because it’s totally a legitimate career and it’s not going anywhere. Why? People follow influencers they like, and as long as their opinions can be monetized, brands are going to work with them. And since influencers attract a following by sharing their personal opinions, influencer marketing is inherently personal. The scope of your influencer program can be as large or small as you want, but developing authentic relationships with your influencers is a great way to get bang for your buck because of their reach and because they’ve already done the hard work of cultivating an audience.
At the core of it, the influencers you want to be engaging are successful because they’ve developed a core audience of people who trust their personal opinions and that audience aligns with your target demographic. Revolve, the online retailer who could give a masterclass in creating an influencer program, relies on influencers to get customers to their site. Personalizing the brand, the lifestyle, and the clothes for their core audience has enabled them to develop credibility and amplified the message Revolve is looking to get across. This savvy positioning has resulted in their influencer program being responsible for 70% of all sales.
Let’s get experiential.
Experiential is everywhere and it’s hot. Being intimidated by a mega-trend is a normal reaction, but crafting unique experiences for your customers is something that good marketers have been doing natively for ages. Finding the tipping point for turning an observer into an active participant is the key to creating an experience that connects with your customer on a personal level in a way that a passive digital engagement does not. If you’ve stepped foot in a public space in the past five years, you’re likely aware that the core challenge here is thinking about how to get people to look up from their phones. The good news is, this isn’t as much about how big your budget is so much as your penchant for creativity and how well you understand the motivations of the demographic you’re going after.
Are you demo’ing at a chain of stores? What makes your guest experience different than the standard? Are you sampling in a local coworking space? How are people interacting with your product in the moment and what does their follow-up touch point look like? Try and develop an experience that gets these new potential fans excited about the next time they hear from you. Even better? Leave them so incentivized from your interaction that they initiate the follow up.
Larger experiences are a great way to establish a tentpole event for your brand and connect with your consumers in a uniquely personalized way. For instance, Refinery29 has done a great job of this in their 29Rooms pop up exhibit and is now rolling it out to more locations to deepen connections with consumers in more diverse regions.
A few tips:
Make sure you’re creating an experience around your brand that matches the tone of your overall outreach, otherwise you’re risking your credibility. If you’re not going all-out in any other capacity, it doesn’t really make sense to here, either. Also, don’t assume you’re hitting the right people just because you get a lot of traffic. The key to experiential marketing is creating experience that YOUR customer will enjoy, not just looky loos. Also, experiential marketing has become a defined marketing channel and to ensure you’re getting the most ROI standardize your data tracking so you can compare and improve your experiences over time.