The Most Effective Marketing Strategy for 2021
I do not know anyone that enjoys being marketed to, do you?
People are tired of being marketed to, they are tired of ads popping up everywhere they turn, tired of having an inbox full of promotional emails, tired of social media posts that promote a product or a business.
It’s Just Too Much
The average American encounters between 6,000 to 10,000 brands per day. All trying to capture mind space, hoping their brand is remembered. In order to be remembered, you have to be extraordinary.
Aim for the Heart, Not the Mind
The brands that are remembered are the brands that touch the heart. They connect with people, having an effect on a persons emotions and developing a bond.
That is the most effective marketing strategy in today’s fast paced, information overloaded, heavily marketed world. The real question is how does a brand touch a potential customers heart and build a bond with them.
Here are four highly effective ways to connect with your customers and build lasting relationships that will keep them loyal to your brand.
- Human Interaction
- Acts of Charity
1. Human Interaction
The internet and automation have dramatically changed the way people interact with one another, and with businesses. As did the COVID 19 pandemic and the restrictions it caused, including mandatory social distancing and remote work requirements. This has left people hungry for interaction with other human beings.
According to Forbes.com “ consumers are craving more human connection in their service interactions. Many consumers have been forced to work remotely. With the stay-at-home and quarantine orders still in effect, there seems to be a bigger need for human connection, especially in the customer service world. Specifically, 38% of U.S. respondents and 39% in the UK stated that having the opportunity to speak to a live agent is a “make-or-break” factor to having a successful customer service interaction. Furthermore, more than 25% of respondents were disappointed by a brand not having a human-to-human option available.”
Businesses have taken advantage of various automation technologies to reduce cost and increase profits, these include
• Automated phone attendants
• Chatbots, forums, and knowledge bases on websites
• Self checkout stations in retail stores
These automated technologies are generally used when there is an issue or problem. Yet they often create greater frustration when someone is already irritated. People do not generally reach out to organizations unless they are trying to solve a problem or address a serious issue.
Having to navigate through an automated attendant or chat bot, searching through a collection of articles or other customers prior experiences are annoying in general, being forces to use them when trying to solve a problem just adds fuel to the fire.
If you want to stand out, provide live chat, make it easy for callers to reach a person through the automated attendant or provide direct phone lines for good customers. Customers are more likely to be loyal to brands that have a human touch.
When was the last time you really paid attention to a message that started with “Dear customer or Attention all customers”?
People feel special when they are addressed by their name. They pay more attention and are more likely to respond, especially if what is being said is relevant to what they want or need.
With all of the technology available today, there is no excuse for not having a profile for each customer and understanding what they like and want. Tools like CRM and marketing automation systems are a must for any size business.
The key to personalization is targeting. In other words, delivering the right message, to the right person, through the right channels, at the right time. Yes it is difficult, but it is critical in order to reach customers and have an opportunity to connect with them.
“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn, tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” (Steve Sabol)
People tend to remember a good story, it draws them in and keeps them captivated. A great story has purpose and helps the reader, listener or viewer understand the who, what, and why.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Nantucket Nectars gained fame by telling their story on every bottle of their juices. I still remember that brand some 30 years later, because of that story and its catchy introduction “Hi, were Tom and Tom, were juice guys”. Their story was relatable, it was a great example of achieving the american dream, it inspired me as a college student who wanted to become an entrepreneur and succeed.
Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) a poised to benefit greatly from telling their story. Trust in large corporations and big brands is low. In addition, the COVID 19 pandemic has helped people realize the struggles that small businesses face and created a desire to support those businesses when possible. Telling the story of why the business was started, what the goals are and who the founders and employees are is extremely beneficial for developing brand awareness and loyalty. Especially when put into a video and shared on the company website and social media. (check out the “Meet our Founder” video we created)
4. Acts of Charity
Giving back to people who face extremely difficult challenges is a beautiful act that has numerous benefits for the giver and the receiver. It should be done for the benefit of the people, in some cases animals, that need the help, not for business promotion or profits.
We recommend either surveying your staff or identifying a cause that is near and dear to your heart and help by,
- Donating a portion of revenues (could be for a limited time or only for a specific product line)
- Matching employee donations
- Matching customer donations
- Providing employees with paid time off to be spent working at the charity
- Providing the charity with access to space in your facility(ies)
Tactfully create awareness of your brands involvement with a cause. One example would be to share photos on social media of employees helping at the charity or photos of the charity utilizing space your business has provided to the charity (for example the Bell ringers and red kettles the Red Cross puts at retailers during the holidays).
TOMS Shoes (an abbreviation for Tomorrows Shoes) is a great example of a brand conducting acts of charity. They made the “one-for-one” format popular. Where they donate one pair of shoes for every pair of shoes purchased from them. They have now expanded into eyewear and drinking water. The brand is also a perfect example of storytelling, the story is the brand.
These four strategies when executed properly tend to engrave brands into the hearts and minds of people. Making a connection with potential and current customers is one of the most effective marketing strategy in today’s fast paced, information overloaded and over marketed world.
We can help your brand connect with customers and touch their hearts, contact us for a complimentary consultation.
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