Bad marketing: How to get away from it
Ever since you started with your business, you must have heard the adage “Customer is King” at least once. Though as clichéd as it sounds, this is the ground reality that has stayed true right up to the current day. Rightfully so too, if you plan on sticking around and hope to be a successful brand in the long run.
If you ever hope to be a long term success, there are a few things you need to understand about customer service. The most important one is that no one likes to feel tricked. If I have to explain it further, I’d say, no one likes to feel cheated, ripped off of or feel like they’re at the bad end of a bargain. When you create a marketing campaign, remember this. Dressing it up a little is alright, but outright lying is not. You are looking to create a customer base for yourself and making tall claims is not the way to go about it.
Your marketing campaign should talk about your product or service and your faith in what you are marketing. Build your brand on authenticity and value rather than on short cuts and quick gains, as tempting as the latter sounds. The short term gains will dry up soon whereas your value will see you tide over and achieve long term success.
You create value and authenticity and value for your products and services by walking the talk.
Every customer, you and I included, wants to feel rest assured that their money is being spent in a worthwhile manner. It is not the promotional newsletters and the glitzy video campaigns that will help you gain that trust. It is the quality of the content you provide to your customers.
However, you need to be able market your content to your customers in a way that will help gain their attention. To do that, put in that extra effort, go that extra mile and show the results to your customers. Use all the graphs in the world if you have to, but explain about your brand and demonstrate how it can help them. Just remember to base it all on hard facts and proven results. Your effort to deliver result will help gain your customers’ trust and confidence.
Once the results speak for you, identify what are the other methods you can employ to build your customer base. One of the most common marketing techniques used these days revolve around offering free products. I mean, sure, who doesn’t like free stuff, right. But hold on, we have crossed the time where anything free used to find takers.
You need to remember that the free content you offer to your website visitors is your business card of sorts. You are telling the world that this is the kind of content you can expect if you stick with us.
Always offer good, worthwhile content to your website visitors. Do you know what happens if you do so?
These visitors will stick around because you have already created trust in your product or services. Even better, they will assume that the paid services you offer would be even better than the free content on offer. This creates trust, confidence and interest; the three most important elements that will help build your customer base.
Once you have those illusive customers come to your website, don’t get tempted to send a barrage of emails and then follow it up with calls too. I get it, you’re eager to make an impact. Yet, sending multiple emails or cold calling is going to bring down your brand’s reputation in your customers’ eyes. You need to work on building your customers’ interest in your content, services or products, but using multiple emails or cold calls to achieve that is a strict no-no.
If you want your customers to take your brand seriously, stop dressing it up as the over eager novice and be the slightly illusive yet interesting person in virtual world.
It will work wonders to build and sustain your customers’ interest in your brand. You need to learn that marketing is a two way street. Your customers are going to take you seriously only if you take them seriously. You need to reassure your customers that you respect their privacy, their interests and their values.
You need to work on quality of your content, irrespective of whether it is through your email, website or newsletters.
This in turn will help your customers realize that your brand believes in their interests and wants to help meet and exceed their expectations. Your content needs to have clear, verifiable information so that your customers will start associating your brand with quality rather than quantity.
However, that’s not all it takes when it comes to keeping your customers happy and engaged. Keeping your promise to your customers is a very important step in this regard. Yes, it might appear to be a difficult task but the respect and word of mouth advertising your customers will bring in for you will be worth it.
As a brand, you can speak about ROI, lead generation and profits but ultimately you should remember that you are dealing with human beings, and their emotions as well. A brand that speaks to their emotions and aspirations will stay memorable within a customer’s mind. Once you achieve this difficult to achieve status, your customers will become your ad campaign on legs. Keeping your customers happy and engaged will bring in more customers and help build your reputation as well.
In order to keep your customers happy and engaged, you need to also learn about what gets their attention.
Keeping abreast about the latest trends within the market helps as a dipstick to learn about your customers’ changing preferences. Learning about the websites used or the topics being currently discussed will help you update your marketing techniques and keep your brand current.
A word of caution though; do not compromise on your brand’s value or reputation merely to stay in the spotlight. Always do your homework and learn to evaluate crowd responses before using a trend to piggyback on. Reputation is difficult to build but easy to demolish. You need to remember this every time you assess a trend and see what it can do for your brand and its reputation.
Once you have worked hard to develop your brand and create a lasting impression, it becomes important that you uphold it as well. The marketing data that your customers have provided you through surveys, polls and personal information is what you need to use to your advantage. Use this data to learn about your customers and the kind of message they would prefer receiving in their mailbox.
There is no one right message when you are handling customers of today. You need to take a multifaceted approach when deciding on the message you want to pass on to your customers. Using the marketing data gathered will help you identify the areas to focus on when developing the messages.
Drop the “one size fits all” approach when you broadcast your messages. Today’s consumers enjoy the special attention they receive from the businesses they associate themselves with. This being the case, it is imperative that you identify which message works with which group of consumers and broadcast it accordingly.
Please not consider your customers to be ignoramuses. Many businesses make the mistake of using semi truths or incorrect statistics while speaking to their customers. Internet has helped validation at finger tips thanks to mobile phones and search engines. Remember this every time you are tempted to throw in a message that you are not fully confident about.
You should learn to sort through all the free and paid advice everyone’s going to throw at you. There’s no harm in asking for someone’s opinion, I agree. However, learn to identify right advice from wrong and use your intuition or gut feeling before you decide to go ahead with it.
Yet another thing to remember is that traditionally, someone who blows his horns was looked down upon. Times have changed, and so have the customer mindset. The baby boomers will tell you that its bad form to do that but the market’s changing.
We have more and more millennials depending upon internet in their day to day life and we need to appeal to their sensibilities as well. You should learn the subtle art of self-promotion and use it to your advantage. You don’t have to outright brag but you need to build yourself to be an expert when it comes to your industry. Work hard so that you earn your spot and your bragging rights too.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to marketing methods as long as you remember that your product should speak for you and your brand. Brand name and reputation, once established, will be your flag bearers.
Since we started with an adage, here is another clichéd adage to end the note with. Always, I reiterate, always step into your customer’s shoes before making any marketing decision. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable if someone used a certain marketing technique to get to you, don’t use it with your customers.