Pay it forward through marketing
23 October 2013
If someone you know and trust raves about how good a brand is, you are much more likely to act in compliance to the recommendation than be persuaded by a regular advertisement or leaderboard blurb. The value of this “indirect validation” not only makes your decision to purchase easier it also encourages you to declare your experiences to influence other consumers, share opinions about service delivery, recommendations or criticisms, news reports, special deals and product reviews. Likewise, the challenge facing digital marketers to achieve this level of affiliation is to explore experiential marketing tactics (diversification strategy) to drive brand preference. Marketers should network with segment-specific social groups or ‘influencers’ that populate online communities. Consequently, the interactive customer experience becomes subjective relative to their actions, opinions, buying habits, leisure habits, and so forth, in order to influence them to buy.
One of the most important things an online marketer can do is sum up their business (also known as an elevator pitch) to enlighten social network audiences. It is critical to encapsulate unique aspects of your service or product, organization and its value proposition, tailored to excite a specific audience. Keep the ‘elevator pitch’ up to date and newsworthy to continue profiting from your branding initiative. How are you keeping abreast of the latest ideas? What continues to set you apart from your competition? How can you convey your record of quality goods and services and make it relevant to online audiences? What if lowest cost isn’t necessarily the highest priority among prospects? What do you think really sets your business apart from your competitors?
Most consumers today are shopping online for an array of products; the vast amount of associated benefits is attracting the most discerning buyers (and even persuading the most disgruntled). A highly emphasized aspect of online shopping is the ability to view a vast selection of products from diverse brands. Larger variety allows consumers to search for products that meet their every expectation. Online marketers should run analytic programs to monitor product matching, which is a scalable and cost-effective way to access the competitive landscape and optimize brand awareness. Effective marketing tools include videos, questions and answers, product reviews, profile images, content, forum posts, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO) and social media monitoring. Consumers put their faith in Social Media – through Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and FaceBook – to exchange opinions and personal experiences.
Change in market value
The traditional engines of wealth creation are winding down, which means it’s time to re-organize the notion of “business as usual”, be it the way we market our business; create value; generate service, manage our money, health and happiness; or even envisage future prospects. We must learn to act and think differently. An important dimension of industry is called ‘demand conditions’ and refers to the nature of customer preferences. Some industries are composed of customers with very different combinations of preferences than others. However, correcting perceptions is a hard task; since most products and services involve a learning curve online marketers should focus on such things as building customer value in stages to achieve multiple advantages as well as responding to customer recommendations and complaints.
Single Market Niche
The way to develop a better solution than that offered by competitors is to concentrate on a single market niche; identify which market segment has the greatest need for your product or service. When is a customer need for a product or service large? Generally, it’s if the product or service improves customers’ productivity, cuts their costs, or allows them to do something they otherwise could not do. The dynamism of establishing market value requires you to engage in a few key activities:
- Put the customer’s needs first by delivering helpful information on your website and social media groups that you know will engage their attention. Customers want to know “What’s in it for me?”
- Take into account problems your customers might encounter and offer solutions instead of pushing your product or service purely to make a sale. Offer advice on how your customer could boost their bottom line. How can your product or service help your customer’s make more money, save time or become more competitive?
- Provide advice on how to attain return on investment to validate the customer’s decision to buy.
- Pay attention to how consumers use your product or service; provide added value by integrating a complementary service to fill a gap in the product profile. Typical social networking content includes product descriptions, buying guides, meta descriptions, frequently asked questions, community content, how-to articles, and resource articles.
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