Az Ahmed, Marketing Expert at SmartFocus, discusses how to ensure that customers are receptive to your marketing messages
Marketing communications have become highly fragmented over the last few years, so much so that they can actually turn customers off—even if the messages are beneficial to them. The way to combat this is to personalise and contextualise messages. If past purchases and preferences are taken into account, customers are more likely to open the messages and interact with the company.
According to an Oracle report that was conducted last year, 49 per cent of UK consumers think personalisation is important. The days are gone when companies can mass market and expect a good response.
Small businesses should reach out on platforms their customers use, such as social media. They should target the interactions by using data mined from various sources. Customers will be more receptive to social media messages if they resonate with them. Creating unique hashtags, using humour, and exploiting trending topics can help businesses generate messages that matter.
Context is hugely important in social media messaging. Companies should look into what people are saying about them and what their most socially-active customers are posting, as well as what they as a company are posting, and see if they are all aligned. They should also be looking at trending topics.
Small businesses should provide social media training to make sure they are interacting with their followers properly. If their messages are taken in the wrong context, this can lead to social media mishaps. In order to have the biggest impact on followers, retailers should be looking at the meaning of their words and picking the right times to distribute posts.
Gaining attention from customers and potential customers is a great way for businesses to get their messages heard. But it is more important to be relevant and authentic to a small number of dedicated followers, who will see these social media efforts as genuine and not simply as attempts to be the next viral sensation. A lot of companies will try to find ways to become famous online and reach the biggest audience possible. It is more sustainable to be genuine: even if that means only reaching a small number of people but really connecting and gaining their attention.
Gathering data about customers and potential customers is critical to all of this. Use the social media platform the target audience wants be communicated through; it’s no good talking to someone on Facebook if they only use Twitter. Look at what people are saying, try jumping on trending topics, and respond to customers who reach out to you on social media.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but people will appreciate it.