In a post-COVID-19 world where digital transactions and virtual encounters feel safer than personal interactions, we explore ways your brand can create an authentic customer experience, without human-to-human contact.
If we boil it all down, what really is at the core of every marketing effort?
The answer is simple: Creating connection with your customers.
A good brand has cohesive elements that tell a story: their logo, packaging, advertising, and digital experience all flow together to tell one cohesive story. An exceptional brand fosters a deep emotional connection with consumers: using every single opportunity to become a trusted ally, a close friend, a respected mentor. As marketers in a digital age, we seek to create human moments for our audiences to connect with throughout their journey with our brands. Each CTA button, confirmation email, and unboxing element offers an opportunity to create a moment of joy with our consumers and deepen our relationship with them.
Sounds simple.. but where do you start? We break down 5 actionable steps to create authentic customer relationships:
Researching your target audience should be at the foundation of your marketing efforts. Through research, we can understand what inspires and motivates our consumers. This allows us to create a brand that serves a true need, rather than add clutter to their world. Conduct foundational research to understand your customers' deepest motivations and unmet needs.
A brand is the summation of independent elements and messages coming together to tell a cohesive story. Everything the brand puts out should tie together, so make sure your team is equipped with the tools they need. Create brand guidelines to ensure your brand stays consistent on every platform and with every message.
What's the most important piece of your customer journey? Prioritize the interactions that have a disproportionate effect on customers, and ensure they feel as special as possible. Maybe your e-commerce brand focuses on personalization and customization. Make your unboxing experience as personalized as possible with first-name customization and samples chosen just for them. Maybe customer service is extremely important to your product? Customize CS training kits with messages unique to your brand's personality. Understand which interactions matter most and focus on nailing them every time.
Think about the interactions you look forward to offline. A good person-to-person conversation rarely uses jargon, never feels forced, and leaves both people feeling like they took something positive away from the meeting. Take those rules and apply them to every communication you have with your customer. Talk to your customers in a relatable, human way, and make sure you're adding value instead of simply selling.
This might be our most cliché action item, but it's vital when gauging if your strategy is working. Create customer feedback surveys, read the comments (even the bad ones), and respond to your customers. Authentic relationships consist of two-way conversations. Make sure you're testing and adjusting your strategy as you go.
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