Looking for the best ways to get and keep your customers in your court? Here are four proven techniques, and some case studies to set you on your way. Take note, however: No technique exists in a vacuum, and many overlap.
Employed broadly across your marketing plan, the basic goal of personalization is to make your customer feel important. Potential customers like that too. Messages targeted to an individual or to a specific group in a meaningful way have “weight” and force; they are relevant.
Personalization offers a method of appealing to individual interests, passions and goals, thereby increasing the connection between you and “them.” If you provide the proper information at an appropriate time to the right people, they will act on it.
Drive Dynamics, on a well-designed website, has employed a variety of techniques, from special offers to gift vouchers to coupons requesting additional information. Some represent a call to action, while others simply offer information. When a potential customer completes a request for additional information, it is up to you to use it to your advantage. File the data, and use it for additional personalized marketing.
Many forms of personalization, sending a follow up email, for instance, after an online inquiry, do nothing to directly promote a sale. The good will and brand recognition, however, are vitally important. Your take back is that it feels less like marketing than efficiency, concern and good business. Customers respond to that and will give you their loyalty.
Make People Smile
Humanizing your image by making people smile is a great tool in marketing. It is associated with making people laugh, but more heart-warming. Southwest Airlines has, for more than three decades, been a master at making people smile, and also at personalizing the message. The company still sends birthday cards to its frequent flyers. It calls itself the LUV airline.
Southwest makes the public smile in other ways as well — It transports critically ill patients free of charge and sends military veterans to see the memorials in Washington, DC; employees dress in costume on special holidays; The company names some of its airplanes and paints others like Orca whales or state flags; and flight attendants sometimes “sneak” extra peanuts to passengers. Who wouldn’t smile at that? You have to love a company that not only can make you smile or laugh, but that sometimes smiles at itself.
Help Someone – Be Useful – Tweet
Newsletters used to be the way a company could get the word out to a lot of people. It may be easier today, what with email, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Even though some content is drivel and represents wasted time and effort, used well the internet can be your best friend.
Hilton Suggests, a program begun on Twitter, has developed a kind of cult following — those looking for travel tips can ask for assistance and receive a quick answer. It’s a concept sure to be employed by other companies in the future.
It’s not necessary to have a video go viral to have an effective online presence.
Be Consistent – Be Recognizable
Brand development is a constant goal for business. One way is through constant and consistent use of a logo, a “shtick” or any other gimmick that becomes so closely intertwined that you can’t think of one without the other. What comes to mind? T-Mobile Bright Pink and that annoying ring tone. But it works. The cellular phone company is instantly and everywhere identifiable; even its offices and billboards are distinctive. YouTube videos, television commercials, print advertising; all adhere to the theme. The company has come from behind to occupy a leading spot in its field, largely through its marketing techniques.
This has been a quick look at some basic marketing techniques, and each has value.
You must, if you will, “personalize” each one for your product, service or corporate image. The basic tenet of effective marketing is that it must be designed to sell a specific something, whether tangible or not, to a specific target audience at a specific time. And it must always be open for evaluation and adjustment. That’s what makes it effective.