Want Better Digital Marketing Campaign Results? Talk To — Not at Your Customers

How does a 70% summer sale sound to you? Well, sounds pretty good — unless I told you it was for something that you didn’t like and that I am going to call you on the phone (which you hate) to tell you all about it. However, say it was an offer for a full priced item you really like and it came to you via your preferred communication method, such as text. Makes complete sense, yet marketers and even business owners fail to ask the important questions of their customers — or even worse, fail to listen to their answers — to create more compelling, effective marketing campaigns.

Ask any business owner or client “would you like to see more results from your digital marketing campaigns?” and the answer is overwhelmingly ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’. The naturally, the owner asks, ‘so how do we do it?” And the answer is usually “spend more money and optimize your ads.” These are true and it’s hard to disagree — however, business and marketers often miss the opportunity to truly get to know their customers, so the optimization and media spend can be used in the best way.

Before embarking on an elevated digital media campaign, ask yourself the following questions of your customer audience and use the answers to form more effective digital, personalized outreach.

Why Are You a Customer?

When a business gets a customer to buy, it’s easy for the business to declare victory. “The customer wanted our great service! We have a great product and great advertising!” It’s difficult to argue with this — after all, the customer’s hard-earned money ended up in your pocket. However, failing to understand what drove the customer to make that purchasing decision can lead to marketing complacency and ultimately, ineffective marketing messaging.

For example, a local eatery and drinking establishment had a great season. Fueled by an improving economy, a cool atmosphere and unique offering of live music, things were moving along. This success led them to subscribe to a digital media program aimed at bringing more locals into its arms. However, after a couple of months and what appeared to be a well-performing campaign, the advertisements did not seem to be paying off.

A deeper look at their customer audience revealed a very significant portion of their customer base were tourists — people visiting the area for a vacation. Most of these people would not venture back to the area again — not because it was bad — just because this vacation spot has been checked off the list. Even if this audience were to come back, it may only be once a year.

The media efforts at first were directed to the audience in the immediate area — locals. And locals just were not as receptive to the message. Everyone knew this place existed and putting on more of the hard sale to come in and visit just was not effective. Media dollars were re-routed to web sites, blogs and digital properties that cater to vacationers that are coming to the area — and, well, that worked.

The establishment misinterpreted the motivation of what brought people into the gates. By asking the question “what brought you in today?” helped to refine the marketing audience and targeting so campaigns could be more successful and more customers craving this experience could be welcomed.

Why Do You Like Our Service?

I was surprised to learn of a family where all its members — parents, kids and maybe even pets — loved visiting breweries. Here is a family proudly walking around each wearing a brewery shirt. Each member of the family had a story why he or she loved the place donned on their t-shirt. If only the dog could speak up? For the adults, it would be easy to assume: “We love beer.” But for the underage kids, it can’t possibly be the beer. For the dog? Probably not. Was it even the beer for the adults? Surprisingly, yes and no.

The temptation is to assume that there is a one-size fits all value proposition that must be communicated. Price? Quality? Experience? Different customers will have different preferences or embrace a specific feature or value proposition of the business.

Customers that prefer quality and service over price, well, that 10% coupon is appreciated but likely not what is going to bring them into the store. When these nuances are understood, it becomes the foundation of implementing more personalized messaging campaigns based on the types of customers that like certain things. With this understanding, it is possible to create different email newsletters o social media that reach the specific audience with the right message.

Do You Feel Like We Know You?

There is nothing more aggravating than an algorithm trying to get inside your head. Suggested videos, content, special offers on food and more seem to miss the mark more often than they hit. Or maybe customers just remember the bad more than the good.

A great marketing campaign is driven by genuine, 2-way communication between he customer and the business. Some customers want surveys — others don’t. Stop asking everyone. There are many ways to reach customers — email, social media, text, chat and even phone or mail. Do you call a customer that never answers the phone? Stop. EMail a customer that deletes your message 100% of the time without an open? Maybe this person wants to be reached in a different way.

When a business understands a how a customer wants to be reached — from mechanism to time of day, the business is now having a conversation with the customer and getting to know him or her. And that genuine connection is the source of a compelling outreach effort and just old fashioned, solid customer relationship building.