Don’t Aim to Influence
You can influence people without aiming to influence others. How? By showing them indisputable proof of how good your brand is. Take time to build out your online real estate with high-quality content and give some away too.
Marketing shouldn’t be looked on as the opportunity to benefit oneself or as the sole ability to sell things, but rather as a conduit for building relationships. Nourishing relationships requires all the same steps as any relationship building. In other words, you need to build a real connection, listen and act based on what is said, place a priority on the relationship, and deliver on promises you make.
Build an Emotional Connection
Being authentic and real isn’t something you can fake. Customers are smart, and they expect a lot from brands they choose to support. One of the best ways to do that is with deep emotional connections. Always, for example, does this with a series of videos for their #LikeaGirl campaign.
The company’s mission to champion girls’ confidence led to these videos. Each one explores a topic that gets the attention of girls and women everywhere: The confidence of girls decreases during puberty. Using story and behind-the-scenes footage, they crafted the videos to create a powerful emotional connection by talking about issues that are important to their audience.
Listen and Respond with Action
Many businesses provide customers with the opportunity to submit their feedback. However, not many show that they’ve listened by responding through action.
Wendy’s, for example, responded to this tweet from a customer.
A tweet like this could have easily been dismissed, but instead, by taking the time to respond, they managed to gain the favor of the customer and generate what turned out to be a viral sensation.
Put the Relationship Ahead of Sales
Trust is the number-one influencing factor that affects any relationship. It allows for open communication, mutual respect, and effective collaboration—or the lack of it.
Trust is especially important when building your online authority in your industry. It is only with trust that your advice and strategy will be taken seriously. So, putting relationships ahead of sales will allow you to have the freedom to perform your best work. In return, more people are likely to look toward you to solve their problems and/or refer others to you.
Deliver on Your Promises
Your marketing communications, no matter what form they take, set customers’ expectations about the kinds of experiences they will have with your company. If those expectations don’t match with your business’s actual ability to deliver on them, your brand and business will suffer.
To make promises, you need to:
• Understand what is required of the job or project and the conditions to fulfill and satisfy them.
• Have a robust plan in place. In other words, you can handle most contingencies without affecting the ability to deliver on what you promised.
• Have the necessary skills and resources to finish the job.
The ads’ message—“If you wouldn’t take it on the ground, don’t take it in the air”—also has a promise behind it: “You’ll be treated better on JetBlue than on other airlines.” They talk about messages that align with key aspects of passenger experiences on their service. It is important to remember that promises last a long time.
So, what can you do to align your marketing messages appropriately?
• Find out what your customer experiences are actually like.
• Map out their journey that takes them from discovering your brand, evaluation, buying, receiving, using, and support.
• Look for pain points and areas where your business meets or exceeds customers’ needs.
Tomorrow, we will look at how you can draw the attention you deserve without promoting yourself like a jerk.
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