Talking to marketing virgins, one of their biggest challenges is to pick the right media and channels to promote their brand. Twenty years ago, mass media had a big footprint and you could confidently find your customers in a specific time and place.
Today, media has fragmented greatly, and finding your customers is no walk in the park. In fact for online e-tailers, it is one of the single greatest barriers for entry. And once you have found your customers, you need to be so attractive that you can actually become a part of their world.
People use a combination of channels to find a brand including: trusted advisors, google, social media and peers. It is too risky a strategy to wait until your customers find their way to you, you have to be there with them in this process. In short you have to find them in the decision making process and guide them to you.
A brand’s challenge is to make itself part of this process. The way to embed your brand in every step of the decision making process is to research your customers. You need to understand how your customers, or if you don’t have any customers as yet, the customers your competitors have, found their way to the brand.
Now here is the trick, you need to not only understand the process, the media and channels, but you also need to know what they are thinking and feeling throughout that process, let me elaborate.
Just before people start thinking about purchasing you, they are probably on the middle of another big decision, it is here where you strike.
You can find them through people. – An art dealer was able to find customers by partnering with an interior designer, an aged care provider can link with a GP, a mortgage provider can link with real estate agents. Your brand needs to become part of the sales dialogue to get on your customer’s radar. You then need to think of something sticky so you can start dialogue with them.
You can find them through media. – Here you need to see what stories are running through their mind when they are in “pre purchase mode” and become part of that story. It is through cleverly crafted branded content that your brand can make its mark. Make sure you offer some more valuable personalised content, so you can start some ongoing dialogue.
Good qualitative branded research, will make this process clear from start to finish. The more you understand this process the more cost effectively you can lure valuable customers.
Hearts and Minds