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It’s time to take a marketing road trip

Todd Hinson.jpg

Todd Hinson

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BY TODD HINSON
Business Columnist

Monday, April 15, 2019

Thanks to the ease of web searches and the cell phones always at the ready, today’s buyers are in the driver’s seat, challenging marketers to meet them where they are with what they need on their decision-making journey toward purchase.

You’re not alone if you’re not sure how to connect with your prospects or drive loyalty from your current customers. Less than half of senior marketers (45 percent) are confident in their company’s understanding of the customer journey. And just 19 percent say their organization has the ideal mix of traditional and digital channels.

Here’s a simple roadmap to follow to help you plan the right channels and content to reach your buyers:

■ Lay the groundwork: Have foundational tools in place, such as buyer personas or documented profiles of your target customers. This will help you shape your marketing messages and offers. Also, make sure your team knows and understands your organizational mission, values and purpose so they can communicate it to prospects and customers consistently.

■ Define what you do and don’t know: Chances are, you have isolated pockets of valuable customer data across your organization. Work to get that information in the hands of those who could use it to build your marketing and outreach efforts.

■ Identify touchpoints: Most businesses use a multi-channel marketing approach for several reasons: Audiences can be fragmented, and you can’t be certain where people are going to encounter your brand first. Plus, it takes an average of eight touches to make a sale.

■ Be strategic-minded: Choose your strategies and tactics based on where your targets might look for information. Online display ads, sponsorships, public relations activities and vehicle graphics are just a few ways to drive awareness early on. Satisfaction surveys, referral programs and appreciation activities help to foster advocacy among established customers.

■ Align your content: Seven out of 10 marketers say they always or frequently consider how their content impacts the overall experience a person has with their organization, and that they prioritize quality over quantity.

Like the idea of video marketing? Not all are created equal. Explainer videos are often short, animated and can simplify complex messages. Early in the buyer’s journey, they help a viewer define their need and possible solutions.

On the other hand, interviews or behind-the-scenes videos can help someone decide between providers when they get a sense of your mission and values.

Regardless of how you focus your marketing efforts, for your outreach to have the biggest impact, you need to stay on the path of working to meet your customers and prospects where they are on the buyer’s journey.

Todd Hinson is co-owner of Allegra Marketing Print Mail in Rocky Mount.

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