Published: November 25, 2013
You can say it many ways:
- The customer is always right.
- Make a customer, not a sale.
- The customer comes first.
- “It’s about the consumer, stupid”
For a long time, companies have acknowledged the importance of understanding and catering to their audience, at least in theory. Now the old saw “know your audience” has taken on new meaning. Reactive customer service is still important. But today, active engagement is key. Today, what if your customers were also your biggest fans?
This seemingly lofty goal isn’t all that challenging when you start by knowing what makes your buyers tick and then providing content or an experience to delight those customers and foster long term loyalty – audience engagement is at the core of building relationships.
According to Forbes, “The first step in this endeavor is to get to know your audience. You need to ask yourself to whom should you market and how do you most efficiently reach them? This will include identifying the age, gender, geographic location, socioeconomic status and other demographic and psychographic traits of the consumers who would be most interested in purchasing your product or service. This is crucial information that must factor into your decision of where and how to spend your precious dollars growing business.”
Not only do you have to know who you are talking to, you need to know how they listen, how they spend their day, and what will make their life and jobs easier. This month a partner of ours launched one of many interactive tools with the goal of providing added value to a particular niche audience. The Vermeer Tree Views blog takes a fresh approach a previous tree care newsletter designed to provide arborists with in-depth and relevant information about the tree care industry. As a result, this important, niche audience for a large international and diverse company now has access to valuable information that aids their day to day operations. And from a business perspective, Vermeer is positioned as an accessible, industry thought leader.
Many businesses believe that their product or service could and should appeal to everyone. However, even with a product that appears universal, there are often good reasons to target a more specific audience in your engagement strategy.
“Before launching new interactive touch points, conduct extensive market research and host focus groups to determine exactly what consumers want and need. Changing consumer behavior is incredibly difficult. It’s much easier to provide a solution that’s tailored to established consumer patterns, particularly for lesser known brands. Above all, constantly ask yourself whether what you’re doing benefits the end-user. If the answer is “no,” don’t do it!”
Need help with your engagement strategy? Let’s chat!