All this talk of technology, trends, and buzzwords can hide what marketing is all about: building a relationship between your customer and your brand. All too often these days, marketers lose sight of this basic relationship, an instead run ambitious campaigns that ultimately fail to capture the attention of the target market.
If you think that your marketing efforts aren’t working as intended, it’s time to get back to basics.
Keeping it Personal – Your Customers Aren’t Robots
(At least, not yet!)
Your potential clients are people – and they’re probably pretty similar to you and me, with their own personality, values, aspirations and fears.
That’s why marketing needs to go beyond crude demographics when targeting a market. Buyer personas aim to deal with that. These personas don’t just list age, gender and location, but dive into their goals, challenges and values. They turn a vague target market into a ‘real’ person – now you can understand them better, and figure out why your campaigns aren’t working.
Talking to a Real Person
Customers aren’t robots, and neither are you. Yet many companies act robotically in their communications and marketing campaigns, often because it’s cheaper than lending a more human tone. Think about: we all get frustrated when we can’t talk to a real person when contacting a company, so why do companies persist with making us sit through robotic phone menus and screening processes?
It usually comes down to cost – but by turning off customers with your impersonal approach to communications, it won’t save you in the long run.
Chatbots are the latest incarnation of robotic marketing communications. You ‘talk’ to a bot on social media and it’ll process the text you send to figure out how best to provide a useful response. Sure, the technology’s impressive, but you’re placing another barrier between the customer and a real person at your company.
It’s easy enough to set up mail merges, email templates that use the first name of the recipient, and target specific groups of customers via online advertising. Yet there comes a point where the way you ‘automatically personalise’ marketing communications becomes creepy instead of clever. This’ll depend on the nature of your audience, but be careful never to cross the line.
Sure, it’s impossible to personalise every single marketing email you send out, but there are other ways you can keep it personal:
- Send out handwritten notes or letters to new or returning clients to thank them for their business.
- Start conversations on social media and respond to comments and posts
- Record short videos thanking customers or clients and share them on social media
These measures may be time-consuming, but if they’re done right, you could win a loyal customer for life.
Don’t be Distant
There’s plenty marketers can do to present a more human side to their company:
- Use case studies with images and videos to help your target market relate to your current clients.
- Write a company blog to show that you have genuine knowledge and expertise in your sector.
- Share behind-the-scenes snippets of company life on your social media accounts, celebrating milestones, planning projects, or welcoming new team members.
- Hold regular webinars or events for current clients.
Don’t be a faceless corporation! Customers will be far more loyal to your brand if they understand the people behind it.
There’s no denying that automated systems are efficient and have a place in every marketer’s toolkit. But ‘keeping it personal’ should be a phrase that’s at the centre of every marketing campaign. By adjusting your marketing strategy, you can avoid being distant and robotic – and instead win the loyalty of your current and prospective clients.
Want some expert help with your marketing strategy? Check out our case studies to see how we’ve helped dozens of companies boost their marketing return.