The Customer is King of Marketing Strategy

Patti RennerAs marketers, we’re always searching for the next big idea to guide our approach. We buy business books. We delve into research and analysis and webinars and such. However, one golden thread of marketing common sense weaves through them all: It’s about the customer.
Now, you’ve heard the clichés before. While there’s good reason that those customer-first expressions are overused, you can put them to use for stronger direct digital marketing.

Customers & Email

Each one of those email addresses in each of your segments belongs to a flesh-and-blood human being. That means a human who may be late for his/her next meeting… who can’t decide where to get lunch… who needs a haircut, etc. Real people. This means that your email messages should be written with a real person in mind.

Here’s a low-tech tip that actually helps for achieving a personal “voice” in your email messaging. If you want to better connect with the person on the receiving end of the campaign, try clipping out an image from a magazine that epitomizes your target customer for that segment, then post it near your computer screen or include it on communications with your team. The simple act of seeing a clear picture of your audience will help improve the quality and clarity of your copy.

Of course, your target image can be more than basic demographics shown in a photo. Take it further and weave in the context of the customer when that message will be received. This can include time of day (your campaign analytics may provide some insight here) and where they fall within the customer lifecycle. Speak to who they are, where they are.

Customers & Multi-Channel Evolution

Sure, you know that the customer comes first. But when it comes to direct digital marketing strategy, that old cliché is becoming the basis for emerging trends.

Even as your brand or business may be gearing up to offer a more thorough multi-channel approach, adding things like mobile or targeted display to your overall strategic mix, the very concept of multi-channel is being replaced by (you guessed it) a customer-lifecycle approach. According to a recently released Forrester report, that means your perspective should be less “channel” and more “experience.” Your customers are using a variety of tools to access information – more than ever before. They don’t interact with brands strictly through mere channels anymore. Instead they connect with brands at various customer “touch points,” otherwise known as stages within the customer lifecycle. Use this to your strategic advantage.

Customers & Trends

It’s no longer the marketing teams who drive strategy – it’s the customer. The best approach is one centered around their wants, desires, behaviors and preferences. Your marketing should give them what they want, when they want it. So, how do you do that exactly? It’s actually easy when you have actionable, accessible customer data stored within a universal profile management system. What they search, where they click, what they read, what they buy, what gets abandoned – all that data comes together to create a clearer picture of the person behind the email address. Use those details to serve them with better information, for better results, to your success.

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  1. […] The customer is king. Bombard them with content that’s irrelevant, too frequent, or invasive, and they’ll be more likely to click the web tracking opt out button. […]

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