It's The Relationship Stupid: This past week we discussed the Path to Purchase. Until the onset of social media, brands primarily communicated with target audiences crafting one-way messages primarily delivered through TV. In those days, 80% of consumers could be reached through TV advertising. Consumers were more homogeneous-most adults were married, most had kids. Traditional forms of advertising moved the consumer through Awareness - Consideration - Conversion - Loyalty - Advocacy. The point of the first sale originates at conversion. Presented by Anne Cecil, Founder, ONO Made in the 191.
Today There Is No Specific Path To Purchase
Customers may interact with a brand through the internet, company website, bricks & mortar store, mobile apps, social media, etc. Each customer will take and individual journey and they demand two-way communication. Brands are communicating with a market of one.
Consumers are blasted 34 Gigabytes of information daily. How in the world can one independent maker get their message through?
Find Your Customer
Examine your purchasers, or competitor purchasers in-depth. Observe and study their habits. Get out and meet them face to face. Find out what they care about, their self-image and their lifestyles. Determine how your brand fits into their world. Learn what forms of communication they use and enjoy. Understand what kind of relationship they want with your brand. For example, are you a friend, co-conspirator, coach, advisor, expert, etc.
Create 2 or 3 major customer profiles. Map out a strategy for communicating with each. You have just created the Who. Now, what will you share with them? When will you begin the conversation? How will you converse with them? Why will you converse with them?
Next determine the best mix of channels for each communication and set a calendar for communicating. Select from both traditional and digital channels where appropriate.
Don't rely too heavily on a platform. From the most recent Facebook fiasco, it should be apparent that platforms will change over time, mostly for reasons out of your control. In fact, recent thinking suggests that brands spend 70% of their communication time on their own website because they control their own site.
The Take Away
Use a a customer focused communication strategy to build a meaningful, pleasurable and positive relationship with your customer.