If your of a certain age, you may remember some of the great TV ads of the 70’s and 80’s.. Smash, PG Tips, Hovis amongst others all had brand defining TV adverts running pretty regularly during that time. They based their TV spend on sales generated in bricks and mortar stores as a result of the brand recognition they generated by their decade defining adverts.
Fast forward to the present day and we have changed massively as consumers, technological advances have given us a plethora of devices and channels with which to communicate on and there has been a concious move away from print as a daily key targeting channel.
We now have on-line channels like social media, mobile devices, tablet devices, apps, text messaging, emails, TV and traditional media et al.. and we have to manage our brand presence and positioning across all these channels and devices in a convergent manner.
However, there is one huge change that often goes overlooked when putting together an overarching marketing strategy for your brand. In decades past, we were TOLD what to buy, how good something was or tasted etc… by traditional media channels. We made key purchasing decisions based very often on nothing more than remembering a really cool advert or a familiar jingle on the radio that made us remember a product or service business. You could call this the age of “Marketing Power” – we were told what to buy by repetitive marketing providing passive product knowledge and little or no ability to talk to other brand advocates / users.
Of course now we are in the age of “Consumer Power” we can talk to millions of people on line in seconds.. we can share reviews on our brand experiences, tell our peers where to get the best value for money and what the best deals are at any time, anywhere on the planet. Passive brand knowledge has been replaced with active brand presence – I can become a brand ambassador / critic without leaving my kitchen table… (McDonald’s has 59 million fans on Facebook alone – all talking about their likes and dislikes of that mega brand)..
I can tweet, post and otherwise disseminate my thoughts about a brand, product or service and have a multiple way conversation with both the brand and other followers alike in real-time.
As a brand owner you need to be able to connect with me as your customer, not just today but tomorrow and in the future. You need to engage and have a two way communication with me, give me variation in your brand communications so I don’t get bored and reward me for staying engaged with your brand on a regular basis.
Whilst the consumer has more power than ever before, they also give brands more opportunities to connect with them too. The tricky part is offering an engaging, targeted and rewarding experience to your consumers on a one vs one basis. Its only by truly understanding who your customers are and what they want as individuals that you will be able to fulfil your business goals, increase your brand coverage and grow your business and revenue.
Gaining customers is the easy part in today’s omni – channel, always on, consumer driven world, keeping them is the real problem. You have to analyse the data you have from your customers, from the website, from an app or plastic loyalty card, from on-line orders, basket analysis of purchases etc.. etc… and use this information to create compelling digital promotions and rewards that encourage interaction, purchase activity and the sharing of more customer information.
If your ready to discuss targeted engagement solutions for your business or you want to discuss the best way to create a reward or loyalty scheme for your customers then get in touch.
In my next post, I will talk about “Traffic Analysis” and how you can use this to increase your customer knowledge and preference information.