The keys to eMarketing – or digital marketing – are knowing your target market, creating relevant and engaging content, and, above all, delivering a superior customer experience.
It is becoming more challenging with each passing year to reach your business’s target audience. Our clients and potential clients are bombarded with multiple messages across multiple channels using multiple devices. In fact most consumers claim that they have tuned out most of this messaging and marketing.
And it’s not just other marketing messages that you need to compete with to gain your clients’ attention. The vast amount of information now available is astonishing. According to a recent University of Southern California study, the average person consumes the equivalent of 174 newspapers worth of information each day. This information density, as some have termed it, is only going to get worse in the coming years as the amount of information and ease of access continue to expand exponentially.
1) Content – Not Discounts – is King
Truthfully we are living in an age of information overload, and it is not just that your potential clients have learned to tune you out; they just don’t have time for your message if it is not meaningful to them.
That last part is really the key. Your clients and potential clients will still get your message if you craft stories and messages that have meaning for them. This new age of marketing is a little bit scary in the sense that we constantly have to reinvent the wheel, but incredibly exciting in the fact that if we have a story to tell, we can engage our clients in a conversation that was never possible before now.
2) Design Content for Your Target Market
Our jobs as marketers (one of the many hats you probably wear while running your business), is to identify who your clients are and what they care about. This is probably one of the key things you need to know in order to succeed in cutting through the noise and reaching your target audience. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they care about? And more.
There is an abundance of data available on who your audience is and what they care about. Much of it can be found by looking at your current clients, and even delving into the data you have on your social media and other web platforms. When you start to understand this picture, you can craft messages and stories that will reach them, and hopefully engage them.
An incredible example of this targeted, meaningful marketing is Coca-Cola’s new Share a Coke campaign. Up to a 1000 unique names will be printed on Coke bottles in the summer of 2014, giving consumers the opportunity to buy a bottle or case of Coke just for them. If your name is not on one of the bottles, you can either special order bottles with your name, or create a virtual bottle with your name emblazoned across the iconic Coke bottle. While I realize we can’t all create marketing campaigns of this magnitude, with this level of reach, we don’t really need to. We just need to make people feel important, or special, or understood.
And don’t be afraid to show who you are, to show some emotion, to show you care. I believe businesses need to have personalities now more than ever. We need to make our brands more human to our clients and show who we really are. In that same vein, you have to be comfortable telling stories that are touching to your clients, but it can’t be all about you. Again, it has to be something that is meaningful to your clients. Don’t be afraid to make them laugh and make them cry if you have something touching to share. Emotions hold a real key to memory, thus making you more memorable to your audience.
One of our strongest marketing campaigns at my own company, Better Life Maids, is our #ShareTheLove campaign. We encourage our clients to rate and review our teams after each visit, and share why they love their Better Life Maid. And notice, we are not asking them to share why they love Better Life Maids, but their own Better Life Maid, the team member who touches their life.
3) Turn Clients into Content Marketers through Testimonials
With this simple idea, we have been able to generate hundreds of real testimonials of our people and therefore our brand. And these testimonials live on across review sites and social media platforms. And now, we don’t have to be alone in cutting through the noise of today’s information overload. Our clients are an integral part of telling our story and of course this creates a message that is much more likely to be heard and trusted by our clients’ friends.
Operations drive your marketing, which drives your sales. Think that through. In today’s digital age, we can’t completely control our message. In the example I used regarding our #ShareTheLove campaign, if our operations were not excellent, how could we expect to garner 5 star client reviews if we were not delivering great service to our clients? So our operations drive our marketing and that marketing drives further sales. This is a circular concept. Draw it out and remember it. If you have a terrible product or service, with amazing marketing, you will only drive your business into the ground that much quicker.
The last piece of the puzzle is to have patience. You need to build trust and a relationship with your audience. You have to keep delivering to them. Keep delivering to them on the promises of your brand. Be great at what you do and keep telling them stories that have meaning to them. The quickest way to fail at marketing today is to stop marketing.
The truth is that all of this can seem a little (or a lot) overwhelming. But there has never been a better time to be a marketer – and if you own a business today, you are a marketer. You have more tools at your disposal, more channels that you can manage yourself and more people who are willing to read your message, if you have crafted it carefully in a way that is meaningful to them. You aren’t trying to reach everyone. Simply cut through the noise and reach your targeted and carefully selected audience. “So Easy a Cave Man can do it” might be an over simplification, but it is also a perfect example of memorable and clever marketing.
Matt Ricketts is President and Chief Experience Officer of Better Life Maids, a fast- growing maid service founded in St. Louis, Missouri and expanding coast to coast through franchising.