Marketers surpass consumers in their daily use of e-mail, texting and social platforms. A whopping 93 percent of marketers have made a purchase as a direct result of an e-mail marketing message, while only 49 percent of online consumers have done so.
What is the significance of this? The differences point to a fundamental fact about marketing: Your perspective may be skewed if you make assumptions about customers based on your own behaviour, rather than that of the people you want to reach. If you are operating on a different wavelength than your customers, your marketing will seem like it’s from Mars–and will not resonate with its intended audience.
Let’s take a look at some adages that can help you gain real insight into your customer base.
In today’s image-conscious society, everything is judged first by how it looks. Rebranding has become the “cure du jour” for everything from sluggish sales to increased competition and outdated products. So how well do these makeovers work?
It depends. There are times when rebranding is crucial, and times when it’s nothing short of perilous. Remember, branding should be a reflection of your company, not just a projection of what you want it to be. You must ensure that the customer experience equals the expectation, or no amount of image revamping will work, at least in the long run. Before you rebrand, there really does need to be something different about your business, product or service; unless, of course, your image never accurately reflected your company to begin with.
So you want your website to make you look big. More power to you. But the business experts I talked to recently say small is cool with customers, too.
Small businesses, they say, have a personality, flavour and sensibility that big businesses can’t match. And when it comes to what you put on your website, they urge: Don’t be afraid to tout your smallness. Small businesses can have more fun with their sites. A small-business site needs to include something that reflects the creativity and personality of its owner.
These days it is rare to find a business niche that is not already over saturated, however you don’t need to come up with a new concept to be different. Little tweaks here and there can make you stand out from the crowd and give you a great chance to be successful from the first day.
Shout about your USP (unique selling point) from day one
This may sound obvious but all too often I see and hear about new businesses starting up and unless I really delve into their website I don’t actually know what makes them different, what sets them apart from the competition. Use all your PR channels to shout from the roof tops about your USP(s).
We’ve all witnessed it – the seemingly overnight success of some startups that begs the question “what am I doing wrong here?” Is it the idea? The timing? The commitment? Why do some companies transform into breakout brands, while others struggle along?
In my 25 plus years of working with entrepreneurs and startups, I’ve noticed three similarities between the companies that skyrocket vs. the ones that sputter out. Here are three ingredients that will fortify your brand for immediate growth.
When someone mentions social media as a business tool, most people think of Facebook and Twitter. Because it’s a video platform, YouTube may not initially seem like a suitable platform for marketing a business—but I believe that if used the right way, your business can definitely benefit from it.
Many global companies, like Coca-Cola, Nike, Google, Intel and Microsoft, choose to use the same brand name in multiple countries.
This is not possible for every brand, but it can often be an advantage. Think of the degree to which a single brand name simplifies marketing and increases return on advertising investment. By comparison, how much more would one of these companies need to spend to achieve the same results with a different localised brand name in every market?
Whether you call it event marketing, experiential marketing, live marketing, participatory advertising, or any other moniker, this is a brave new world of blowing things up, building in a technological overlay to real-world places, and convincing otherwise sane passers-by to dance or change clothes in the street—all with the motive of engaging consumers.
We talked with some of the smartest minds in experiential marketing to find out how they pull off memorable events—and make sure there’s significant consumer engagement long after the event is over.
Here’s what they told us:
Create an event within an event
Try to create an event within an event where you can touch a consumer one-on-one, where you can engage directly, and teach them about your product, and do so by interacting in a quality way. Have a truth-or-dare themed campaign, ask people to dance in the middle of the street, etc.