It's official, the age of the customer is upon us. It used to be that businesses were the ones dictating who, what, where, when, and how consumers engaged with, and purchased various products and services. However, our growing reliance on technology and our constant need to be plugged-in has completely altered the competitive landscape. With a seemingly endless number of options available to us, consumers have become more impatient and demanding than ever before. Not only has this made customer loyalty a thing of the past, but it has made it virtually nonexistent.
In order to survive in the age of the customer, businesses have to adapt their systems, tools, and processes to accommodate growing consumer demands and deliver the seamless customer experience we’ve come to expect. While these efforts need to transcend across all teams and departments in order to truly be effective, marketing plays an integral role in the way businesses communicate and interact with their customers. With that said, there are 4 marketing strategies that every organization can and should employ to enhance and maximize customer engagement.
An organization’s message and voice is a direct reflection of its culture, values, and personality. Though a company’s message is a key element of its own marketing strategy, the message it directs towards its audience is equally, if not more, important. One-size-fits-all marketing messages are no longer a sufficient means of reaching and engaging customers. Today’s consumers want to feel understood, so crafting a relatable message that addresses their individual needs and wants can significantly increase and improve customer engagement.
Create Buyer Personas
One way to achieve the personalization needed to effectively engage customers is by creating buyer personas. For the sake of clarification, a buyer persona can be described as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based off of information gathered through market research and consumer-provided data. With detailed visibility and insight into customer needs and preferences, organizations are able to segment their target audience into various groups, or personas, and target those groups using differentiated verbiage that relates specifically to their interests.
Gone are the days when consumers turned to the yellow pages to research products and services, or went into brick and mortar stores to purchase items. Instead, they can access all the business and product information imaginable, purchase items, and leave reviews all at the touch of a button –on any device – from anywhere – at any time. Meaning, businesses must develop multi-channel marketing strategies that offer a one-to-one customer experience at every touch point. From websites and emails to YouTube and social media platforms, organizations need to leverage cross-channel marketing if they want to compete in today’s digital landscape.
The influx of data that has been made available through digital platforms has enabled businesses to execute more methodical and targeted marketing campaigns than ever before. Rather than utilizing mass marketing tactics and hoping something sticks, companies now have substantial amounts of consumer data and analytics to use at their disposal. With that said, large sums of data will not provide any value unless it is analyzed, interpreted, and applied in a way that ties directly results. Regardless of individual business goals, organizations that invest the necessary time and resources into data aggregation and analysis are able to facilitate more purposeful, effective, and efficient marketing campaigns; ultimately increasing their ability to improve customer engagement, drive additional sales opportunities, and retain existing customers.
In order to adapt to modern consumer demands, many businesses have done away with traditional marketing practices and have begun to pursue a less disruptive approach. At its core, inbound marketing refers to the marketing strategies and tactics that bring visitors in, rather than having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Through the use of engaging and helpful content, digital marketing earns the attention of consumers, creates increased brand awareness, and draws consumers in.