“A man’s sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results”
“A woman’s sense of self is defined through her feelings and the quality of her relationships”
Do you know where that quote comes from? It reminds me of the relationship between customers and marketers.
As marketers, we are defined by the results we achieve. Whether those results are measured in revenue, brand recognition or some other metric, marketing has become increasingly accountable. Technological developments have allowed marketing spend to be come more targeted than ever as we can see what is effective in generating revenue. There is without a doubt, still a creative element to it but with split testing (and other tests) so easy to do and the ability to refine communications on the fly the industry is more data driven than ever and technology is so important.
Customers want to feel valued and the need for good quality relationships with favoured brands has become a necessity for customer retention. Not only are customers given more choices in whatever they want to buy, it is very easy to say how they feel about a brand and tell lots and lots of people! Technology has made it easy to swap, shout and make our feelings about a brand clear with the click of a button.
However, these goals can be mutually compatible when managed correctly through the right channels and the key is relationships! Email Communications and Social Media enable to you start and maintain a conversation with your customers and prospective customers. An email newsletter is a great start and by listening to your recipients you can make that content relevant to them. Start by saying hello, ask what they like and deliver accordingly. Social Media can be used to answer questions, ask for feedback on a new product or deal with a customers issue. These interactions will leave the customer with a warm and cosy feeling and you with better marketing results. Everyone wins!
There are brands out there using technology to enhance their brands, provide value to consumers and address issues proactively. One company I love generally is FirstDirect and they use social media well. Facebook is used to provide a range of content to their fans. From proactively letting people know about problems with their online banking service in June (it helps to prepare people so they can make other arrangements) to general financial advice and team updates about team charity efforts they don’t need to do a hard sell constantly. And they respond to people personally as well.
On twitter they have 2 accounts – one is general news and thoughts (@first_direct) and the other is their customer service team on @firstdirecthelp with personal introductions from whoever is online at the start of each shift (they are 24/7). Not sure how many people really use the customer service one but I love the idea of it and it really goes with First Directs image of a truly excellent provide of customer service whatever the channel.
So think about your email marketing and social media, are you in a relationship with your audience or are you just shouting at them about your products and services? And if someone is shouting at you and not listening, how long before you walk away?
P.S. The Quote is by John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus)