What’s Your Marketing Age?

Patti RennerHow “old” is your marketing? I don’t mean its shelf life, or when your latest campaign released. What I mean is how mature is your approach to messaging – how well are you communicating with your audience when you’re speaking with them across channels and touch points.
As children grow, they are evaluated by a pediatrician based on developmental milestones. When they use simple words in short phrases (“Mine!” and “Luv luv dada”) at the start of their verbal evolution, it’s adorable. If they’re using that same simplicity when they’re 10, you may have a problem.

So, how well has your messaging kept up developmentally?

Not long ago, I suggested that you take a moment and explore the mobile experience as if you were a real customer of your own brand. Now I want to take that one step further and try to place an age on where your messaging is in its evolution and the way it “uses its words” to connect with your audience across touchpoints.

Here’s an example:

When your customer clicks a certain retail email from her tablet, she is saying, “I want you to give me more information about the red dress.” When you take her to a mobile site which requires her to click through tabs to dig for her red dress – with options like “Clearance,” “New Arrivals,” “Sportswear,” “Womens” – you’re coming across as a frustrating teenager, without a direct answer to her request.

When your customer gets an email with a rewards coupon, ready to redeem in store – but it’s on her phone screen instead of printed on paper so, of course, the clerk won’t accept it – then you’re coming across as a toddler who lacks logic and refuses to be told otherwise.

“But it’s here… on my phone… you just sent it to me.” “I’m sorry but it’s not a real coupon unless it’s on a piece of paper so I can put it in my drawer. You should email them back and have them send you something in the mail or something because I can’t take that now.” (Note: This really happened to me with a national chain just last week.)

Just give the people what they want (or what may interest them) when they want it, in the format or channel they prefer at that moment. It’s not that complicated, but it’s also not easy if you lack the cross-channel unification to make it happen.

In a very short time, marketers have been pushed to adapt to the evolution of the splinternet – multi-device, multi-channel, making every effort to unified messaging across it all. Where we once were at a comfortable place, using basic email blasts and sterile landing pages, we now have to pick ourselves up and train for what feels like a marketing decathlon. Add advanced analytics and IT into the mix and it’s like learning a whole new language.

Maintaining a coherent conversation requires a unified view of the customer and cohesive approach to serving them with information. Use your data to help remain clear within your brand-buyer conversations. Know who you’re “speaking” to, and take steps to polish your approach. When you’re looking for a partner to bring together your data, message delivery and analytics within a single easy-to-use platform, get in touch.

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