Listen to your customers, and give them what they want and how they want it.
In our series covering the key integrated marketing trends in the new year, MarCom New Media reviews some of the latest research and conference keynotes, and also advice from other colleagues. We like to share knowledge because, when we do, it makes it easier to work with our clients. Below is a synopsis of one of the keynotes focusing on branding at the recent November AdTech New York conference.
Branding has been around for centuries, but questions arise when it comes to branding today in the digital era. People want to know if things have changed. Although most of the core brand building principals remain the same, there are new ways to build a brand using mobile and digital strategies for even deeper consumer engagement, made possible by all the devices by which we now share information.
First it is important to know the fast growing segments with spending power include: The Millennials (those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000), Hispanics (1/2 us population growth over next 20 years) plus, the health and wellness category.
The first step when branding for the digital era is to ask yourself, “Why should my customers choose my brand over all the other choices?” To reach the conclusion, ask yourself if your brand is defined by brand personality or by demographics. Then you need to build some information based on insights for long term growth.
Another key question you need to ask is, “Who is your customer and are your watching them evolve?” According to keynote speaker John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. and the current global chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association, marketers need to confront reality or be left behind. He also reminds us to ask, “Who’s your target and are you moving fast enough? Are you adapting?” Adapt or be left behind. Last, he reminds us that strong brands have a clear point of differentiation and purpose. Differentiate or die and keep your brand relevant. Be agile and engage customers where they are today.
Next remember that everything that touches your consumer defines their experience including:
• Their overall experience (in your store, or on your website)
• Speed of service
• Public Relations
• Ads (Traditional advertising)
• Digital media (emails, online Pay per Click ads, etc.)
• Social media
• Point of Purchase (POP)
Are you creating a common message across all these touch points? Also know that today’s consumers want to be heard. Let them interact with your brand via social media.
Storytelling is Key
When you are branding your products or services, just know that tossing messages at the consumer is not what they want to hear. People like hearing stories. Story telling is now a big part of branding – stories from other customers about why they like your products, and stories about your brand, with examples of how your products are made, how to use them, and what others think about them.
With more than 7.2 billion smart phone users in the world, mobile is the new ecosystem. Just look around and you’ll see people using devices everywhere. In addition, people like images. In 1999 an estimated 80 billion photos were taken, while in 2014, people took more than 800 billion photos. Just remember, there are 680 million mobile Facebook users. This is just one tool to reach them on. Images bode well in Pinterest and on Instagram, and people no use short videos on YouTube to learn everything.
Listen to your customers, and give them what they want and how they want it. Customers can be a powerful marketing tool, especially when you leverage them on mobile and social platforms. When someone is recommended by a friend, this is powerful. Social media scales and turns influencers into recommenders. Innovate and don’t be afraid to take risks Innovation is about culture. Create an environment where you are not afraid to do new things. Make consumers want they what have to offer. Engage fans. Most consumers are loyal, and will be good recommenders over time.
Build Data Capabilities
Determine what is important and what’s not, then focus on asking the right questions to garner informative data about your customers. Then make sure your messaging to your customers is relevant, authentic and in context. Next, when targeting people, make sure you ensure to protect consumer privacy as targeting tools get specific. Data is not a strategy in and of itself. And remember when you can contract consumer behavior, then you can send more strategic and relevant offers. This is known as one-to-one marketing. There are many new tools that can help accomplish these concepts. Innovate – don’t be afraid to take risks, and last, leverage and measure big data to build competitive advantage.
MarCom New Media is helping our customer brand themselves, and can provide anyone with all of the above services – from website designs that will reach customers, Internet search marketing tactics to get them to your website, public relations to get the word out about products and services, and social media tactics that will reach them wherever they are.
- Websites – Now they must be suitable for smart phones. If not, then it does not showcase your products and services very well. Websites need written content on them so that Google can track the keywords. We will assist in designing, programming and writing new web copy. Depending on your budget we will come up with a plan for developing your site.
- SEO or Internet search marketing – Today it is more and more challenging to get people ranked on the first page of Google. When someone looks for “your product” or any other keywords pertaining to it – you want to be on page one. Next when someone goes to the site, it is important that they are converted to a sale, right? So to do this you will need a new website in a responsive design, and then the optimization tactics (like Conversion Marketing) to get your site ranked for all the keywords that people would use to find you.
- Blogging – When a blog is set up on your site, is great for building your brand name and for SEO. Google likes it when we do blogs on the site as it shows activity. We recommend weekly or biweekly posts. 150 words and up. With images.
- Marketing partners, promotions and event tins – We have tie ins to many local events. My associate June Miller Richards worked for 7 years at LA Magazine. There are often ways we can tie you in on these happenings, many of which are with charities and have wealthy folks in attendance.
- Public relations – We use Vocus media database, and have access to all media contacts globally. We will come up with a strategy to manage your PR depending on your budget.
- Digital marketing and advertising – Have you been keeping a list of customers/ Do you email them regularly? Do you write newsletters and distribute them? Do you offer online pay-per-click ads or discounts? MarCom can assist with these strategies.
- Social media marketing – This requires a strategic plan, and again depending on budget, we can guide you with strategies to use yourself, or we can actually DO all the posts. This is several times per week. 6-8 tweets a day, Instagram daily, and Pinterest with images often. Do Facebook posts daily, Linked In posts weekly, and Google Plus posts. You need a strategy for post types, and images.