Archive for the ‘Customer Engagement’ Category

Help Meet Customer Needs With Brand Communities

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on October 20th, 2015

social conversationIn a previous blog post, I talked about user generated content and the role it plays in a marketing program. Using customer opinions, interests and feedback continues to be a large part of a targeted marketing plan. Taking it one step further, organizations can create a space where customers and potential clients share their impressions, offer feedback and speak with other members about products and services. Building a brand community enables organizations to understand consumer wants, answer any questions they may have and continually collect relevant feedback. This type of business strategy builds awareness, offers brand support and, in turn, meets consumer needs.

When consumers are engaged with a company, brand, product or service, they may want to share and learn information from others who have similar interests. Having a platform where they can speak freely on their likes and dislikes, carry on conversations about particular products and offer feedback on how to improve those products, gives organizations insight into consumer needs. This information enables companies to improve products in the planning, development and sales stages.

A brand community gives organizations the ability to speak to consumers in a conversational way rather than having to rely only on marketing communications to get their message across. Using a platform to answer questions customers may have gives companies a competitive advantage, because they are receiving feedback in real-time thus helping enhance customer satisfaction.

By continuously collecting consumer feedback, whether on an offered incentive, a new product release or an existing product on the market, organizations can use consumer comments and reactions to improve their offerings and strengthen brand advocates.
By listening to what the consumer is saying about the product directly as well as monitoring conversations that multiple people may be having about the company, marketers can develop relationships and create messaging centered around targeted brand enhancements.

Building a brand community gives organizations the opportunity to engage with current and potential customers and connect in a way that can enhance communications. Through direct conversations with these consumers, companies have the ability to understand what their audience is looking for, which helps improve the type of content being offered. These open forums are a useful way for businesses to learn more about their customers making targeting messaging attainable and improving the chances of future success.

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For the People, By the People

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on September 24th, 2015

Brand AdvocacyContent marketing has made a major impact on marketers within the last few years, as it’s become an integral part of any successful marketing program. The thought process behind content marketing hinges on creating relevant messages for customers and potential clients. When consumers’ interests are in mind, there is a greater likelihood that content will be downloaded, shared, viewed or liked. But, are there other ways to keep up with consumer interests and continue to promote targeted, relevant content? Enter user-generated content.

User generated content (UGC) is defined as, “Any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video and audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available by social media websites.”1 So, how can brands use UGC to improve the awareness of their products and services?

Brands can use personalization to build awareness and then use social media to promote that piece of content. That piece of content can then be retweeted, reposted or go viral creating the time of positive publicity brands crave. For example, a popular brand used personalization on its product by creating a campaign where people could “their name.” Those people could then upload a photo of him/herself drinking “their name,” which not only advertised that drink brand, but it also prompted others to do the same.

Companies are also setting up contests for individuals to share their creative ideas or artwork for a particular product on social media. Allowing that type of consumer involvement gives the organization the ability to show that it not only wants input from its customers and potential clients, but also it will use that input and feedback to build its brand and increase awareness.

Finally, organizations are building campaigns that include customer video testimonials. Once uploaded to social media, these videos are shared and give consumers the ability to watch learn more from people just like them. Customer perceptions are important for others to see and hear especially when they are making purchasing decisions. Positive reinforcement from people who have used and experienced an organization’s product is sometimes the deciding factor when potential buyers are contemplating whether to or not to make a purchase.

Creating relevant content has become a big factor when determining the success of a marketing program. Trust is crucial for every consumer and generating content based on what consumers believe and understand is an impactful way to target consumers.

Source:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-generated_content

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Focus On What Makes Your Customers Tick

Posted by Mallory Green on August 6th, 2015

Psychology-driven StrategiesIn today’s technology driven-world, getting and keeping someone’s attention is a difficult task. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of an adult in 2015 is 8.25 seconds. Furthermore, 17 percent of page views last less than four seconds.1 So what can a marketer do to grab someone’s attention in 8.25 seconds or less? Some of the most experienced marketers are focusing on psychology-driven strategies to better understand what their consumers truly want, need and desire to not only build engagement but also increase conversion rates.

1. Friend or Foe

First and foremost, if you want someone to stick around long enough to read your marketing messages and view your products, you must hook them right off the bat. When searching for a specific product or service, the website experience is extremely important. If you come across a website that is barely put together, doesn’t load properly and has an amateurish vibe, you won’t stay very long. It’s quickly onto the next option, because, as we know, it’s available. The first piece of information your consumers see is what will make or break you. It’s what will make them stay. Use copy, imagery and even price points to keep consumers interested in what you have to offer. This extra attention to detail can move your brand from the research stage to the consideration stage in the minds of the consumer.

2. Trust is Key

In a study done by Power Reviews, “70 percent of mobile consumers say they use product reviews to help make their purchase.”2 Consumers trust the reviews of their peers more than anything else especially if this is the first time they are doing business with you. Your messaging intrigued a potential buyer enough to consider purchasing your product, but the driving factor could very well be what a previous consumer said about your products. Provide customers with a forum to leave reviews and post them on your website. It’s true, not every customer is going to be satisfied, but being responsive to negative reviews with an apology and an offer to make things right also goes a long way.

3Make Life Easy

Once you’ve gained the attention of a consumer to the point where they’ve made a purchase, influence repeat purchases by making life easy. Oftentimes, consumers lack the patience to go through the same long drawn out process every time they want to make a purchase. Encourage buyers to create an account. Not only is it easy for them to find what they’re looking for and check out quickly in the future, but also you have the benefit of collecting more information about your consumers. The more you learn about them, the better.

4. Exclusivity

Using data collected through purchase history, online behavior and face-to-face interactions gives marketers the ability to truly make a consumer feel special. By offering relevant content, promotions and other incentives, you are making your consumers feel like they are part of something special. You’ve built a relationship and an emotional attachment is made. You have what they’re looking for. They need you.

Getting a consumer’s attention and earning his/her trust is a difficult task to accomplish especially as patience levels decrease and attention spans diminish. But by focusing on psychology-driven strategies, you can begin to reel potential customers in to create lifelong relationships.

Sources:

1. http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics

2. Kasteler,Jordan. (21, July 2015). “Tapping Into the Buyer’s Brain With Psychology-Driven Marketing.” www.marketingland.com

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3 Steps to Increase the Lifetime Value of Your Customer

Posted by Nick Murphy on August 4th, 2015

DataThe acquisition of new customers does not come easy. Better yet, it does not come cheap. Tweakyourbiz.com elaborated by stating that, “The most successful mobile businesses have nearly 40 percent of their revenue coming from repeat customers. What’s even better, repeat customers help businesses lay low and ‘sit out’ tough economic times. Not just that, repeat customers can help you generate higher revenue by at least 50 percent, compared to small businesses trying to acquire fresh customers – a mere 10 percent.”1

Let’s take a look at three steps you can use to increase the lifetime value of your customer.

1. Lend them a hand.

There are a number of different touch points throughout the customer journey, but it is always important to make sure that your client support team has a strong hold on understanding each of them. A well-trained and knowledgeable support team allows for those common and sometimes uncommon issues get resolved quickly and efficiently.

2. Out with the old and in with the new.

When you head over to Whole Foods Market®, the last thing you expect to see in the produce department is something old and stale. Keep your services fresh and find a key differentiator between you and the competition. Do your research and find out what your customers truly value. Then, utilize this insightful data to provide new and unique services and solutions tailored to them. This will pay off big time in terms of long-term loyalty.

3. Give more, take less.

Nothing says you care more about your customer than offering them a new service or an upgrade at no-charge.By understanding the impact your customers have on your business, you can come up with ways to give them extras at little to know extra cost to you, but the gesture will improve their experience and your reputation. One way to gauge the satisfaction of your customers is ask them directly. Send out quarterly surveys to better understand what you are doing well and what you aren’t doing well. Then, use this data to revamp the way you do business.

Earning a lifetime commitment from customers is a difficult task as they expect more from brands. It is more than just offering excellent customer service, but also providing fresh and innovative products and services as well as taking the time to listen to and understand their needs. By combining all these aspects into one package, you can give these customers a truly personalized and targeted experience

Sources:

1. Khan, Umar. (9, June 2015). “5 Top-tier Tips for Boosting Brand Loyalty and Customer Lifetime Value.” http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2015/06/09/5-top-tier-tips-for-brand-boosting-loyalty-and-customer-lifetime-value/

2. Khan, Umar. (9, June 2015). “5 Top-tier Tips for Boosting Brand Loyalty and Customer Lifetime Value.” http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2015/06/09/5-top-tier-tips-for-brand-boosting-loyalty-and-customer-lifetime-value/

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5 Tips To Implement An Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy

Posted by Mallory Green on July 14th, 2015

Omni-channel marketing is the newest shift marketers are seeing thanks to the improvement of technology, availability of data and the growing importance of business intelligence and marketing automation. The idea is simple – provide your customers with a seamless experience regardless of how they engage with your business (email, in-person, social media, website, mobile app, customer call centers, etc.). Also, don’t forget to consider the device being used whether a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

So, how can you implement and successfully utilize an omni-channel strategy to improve your customers’ experience?

1. Test The Experience Out For Yourself

It’s important to experience the buyer’s journey as if you were a customer at your business, and to do so, you have to interact with your marketing channels regularly. Is every step of the buyer journey a pleasant one regardless of the device being used? The message and experience needs to be integrated and consistent, and the only way to ensure this is the case is to test it out for yourself.

2. Measure and Analyze

There is so much information available, and it’s all attainable from a variety of sources such as a CRM, website activity, customer feedback, social media, etc. Using all your collected data, you can learn more about who your customers are outside of basic demographic information by focusing more on behavioral data and asking the right questions leading to deeper meanings and insights.

3. Build Customer Profiles

As this information is gathered, it can be pushed into a business intelligence engine, which helps marketers analyze customer behavior and build more complete profiles. As profiles are populated, segmentation becomes easier and buyer personas can be created.

4. Develop Targeted Content

Once you’ve identified patterns and behaviors, you can translate your findings to speak with your customers in meaningful ways thus establishing a higher level of satisfaction and loyalty. You can map out what types of content are needed as well as which communication channels are preferred to improve the overall experience. By truly understanding who your customers are, you can develop stronger messages that are tailor-made for them forming a deeper connection.

5. Refine Your Strategy 

The journey doesn’t stop once you’ve gone through the process once. We know that behavior is constantly changing as new technologies and trends emerge. It’s important to constantly evaluate your strategies and improve your segmentation process in order to keep your business relevant and strong in the minds of your customers.

The foundation of omni-channel marketing is big data. By truly understanding who your customers are, and the different channels being utilized as they navigate their way through the buyer journey, you can connect the dots and understand how they interact with each channel and what works and what doesn’t. This deeper understanding can improve the customer experience and satisfaction leading, hopefully, to increased loyalty and advocacy.

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