11 June, 2012
No matter your product or service, whether in a business or consumer environment it’s never been a more competitive market where standing out from the crowd is now more crucial than ever. But nowadays it takes more than just a clever creative platform.
We’re all searching for brand loyalty. However, this doesn’t happen over night and it’s essential that this is accepted immediately – even Mark Zuckerberg had his doubters at first. What was going to ever conquer the mighty MySpace, right?
Purchasing decisions, specifically in a business-to-business arena can last months to even years and still brand loyalty might not be achieved. But, what we do have control over during this time is who we speak to and what we say to our prospects and customers.
Before we discuss what we say however we must determine who it is we are speaking to. Our audience is vast and each one of them has a different need from our product or service – let’s take a breakfast cereal for example. The kids want it to taste good, the mum’s want it to be good for their kids, the athletes want it to fuel their workout, the time poor are looking for a quick bite, etc. As such, we need to communicate in various ways to satisfy each of their needs - segmentation in our messaging is essential to extend our reach and give that personal touch to everyone we want to consider using our products.
Now we have our creative platform (duh), we know who we’re going to speak to and what we want to say – unless your product has a distinctive USP which no-one else can offer, this may still may not be enough to finalise the purchasing decision. We’ve got the audiences attention but what’s the benefit to them? Most importantly, why would they come back?
There is one fundamental lesson to be learned and that is that marketing does not sell stuff. What marketing does is create that opportunity to speak to our audiences and it is up to us, once we have the audiences attention to maximise this opportunity by providing them with added benefits which aid the purchasing decision. B2C may use a tactic such as ‘buy one get one free’ or to talk cereal again ‘buy this and inside there is a really cool toy’. B2B requires a more sophisticated approach where we will approach our audience with ‘thought leadership’ content such as industry specific white papers, guides, online widgets, reference materials. Things, which the customer can use and it gives them that sense of ‘these guys really know their stuff’.
It’s these added benefits and useful content, if relevant and communicated regularly will keep them coming back to your brand. Staying front of mind is everything in today’s competitive markets and becoming the go to brand providing these added benefits is crucial.
Remember, marketing doesn’t sell stuff but once you have the audiences attention you need to keep it. Then brand loyalty? Why not?
Posted by Chris