marketing Archives - TAB Corporate

Is “Emotional Marketing” the Best Way to Connect with Customers?

According to the Small Business Association, “All humans feel four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.” Of course, no business wants to spur feelings of disgust or anger with their customers, but as the SBA adds, “creating strong emotions—either positive or negative—can help build a bond between your customers and your business,” which is definitely a goal all businesses share.

If you’re looking for a stronger connection with your target audience, here are tips on emotional marketing that might resonate with your target audience:

Identify their pain points.

Many businesses offer products or services that address problems or challenges their customers face or, in more simple terms, cause them pain. Your marketing efforts can identify these pain points, without coming across in unduly negative terms, and emphasize the solutions your business provides.

Describe how their lives will improve.

Similar to pain points, but with a somewhat more positive slant, your marketing can speak to how your offerings will make your customers’ lives (or businesses) significantly better. The end-result is a greater feeling of happiness, fulfillment and gratification—immensely positive emotions that can lead to greater customer loyalty.

Offer a feeling of belonging.

Just about everyone, consumers and otherwise, wants to feel part of a larger group. That’s why “social proof” is a powerful component of any emotional marketing campaign. Social proof is a term for “people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right and what is wrong in a given situation,” notes Hootsuite. In our era of social media, the significance of social proof is greater than ever “because feedback from real people is more easily accessible than ever before.”

Here’s where customers’ first-hand experiences come into play. Look for opportunities to highlight upbeat customer testimonials, case studies and videos in your marketing efforts. Prospective customers are more likely to be swayed by watching or listening to people “just like them” who enthusiastically endorse your product or service.

The views of customers on social media platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor and others play into the social proof phenomenon. As part of your marketing efforts, encourage loyal customers to post favorable online reviews of your company on these and other sites. Such reviews give your brand a kind of independent legitimacy paid advertising simply can’t achieve.

Tell a story about your business.

Storytelling evokes emotions, particularly because this activity is “hardwired” into almost everyone’s childhood experience. How can you tell a compelling story about your business—its origins, its challenges and how they were overcome—that illustrate how your product or service has helped changed a customer’s life?

Using storytelling elements has the potential of connecting with people on an emotional level—something far more effective than just telling people you have the “best product around.” Look for loyal customers who are open to talk about your business in a short video, where they describe how your product or service transformed a nagging issue into a beneficial outcome. Their “emotional journey” may be the best way to connect with prospective customers.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t dismiss the idea of emotional marketing just because your product or service doesn’t appear to lend itself to the process. Marketing strategies for everything from microchips to air filters for a car have the potential to forge an emotional connection with prospects. It’s all in how you approach the topic and imaginatively frame your ultimate message.

Want some more great information about marketing? Check out these free resources …

  1. Referral marketing whitepaper http://info.thealternativeboard.com/referral-marketing-ideas
  2. Marketing on a Small Business Budget http://info.thealternativeboard.com/small-business-marketing-advice
  3. How to Create Content that Will Generate Buzz http://info.thealternativeboard.com/how-to-create-content-that-will-generate-buzz
  4. How to Generate PR for your business http://info.thealternativeboard.com/pr-for-small-business
  5. How to Use email to drive more business http://info.thealternativeboard.com/how-to-use-email-marketing-to-drive-more-business
  6. Achieve Strategic Marketing & Management Excellence http://info.thealternativeboard.com/strategic-marketing-and-management

 

 

5 Tips for Monitoring Your Competitor’s Marketing Strategy

 

 No matter how unique their product or service, every business has a competitor (or more than one). This is probably a good thing because it means no CEO or business owner can become complacent or believe there’s no threat to his or her company’s well-being.

Competitors are a fact of life. The trick, in terms of crafting your company’s marketing message, is knowing what the “other guy” is saying and how well their message is being received by the target audience.

Here are five tips for staying on top of your competitor’s marketing strategy:

1. Monitor changes in their website. Just as your business has put a great deal of time, energy and resources into building a customer-friendly website, so the competition has also worked hard to craft a high-functioning business website. When was the last time you looked close at the competitor’s web pages, scrutinizing the look and feel of the site, its content and images, and so on? Try viewing their site through a customer’s eyes. See how well you can navigate from home page to purchase page (and everywhere in between). After taking this “tour,” make a point to stop by every couple of months and see if they have added new functions or changed their design. Watch for any changes, subtle or otherwise, in their key marketing points.

2. Track their activity on social media. Presuming your business has a vibrant social media presence, it’s safe to assume the competition reaches out to followers on several platforms as well. Which platforms do they favor—Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.? What does their business profile look like? Does it appear to convey a more compelling or emotional message than your own profile page? There’s nothing wrong with choosing to “Like” or “Follow” your competitor on social media. This way you can keep track of any special offers or announcements they share with their customers, as well as any big changes in their marketing approach.

3. Analyze the content they offer. Whether it’s blog posts, podcasts, customer testimonial videos or webinars, the content your competitor offers to customers and prospects might be coming across more effectively than your own. Generally speaking, it’s possible to determine how widely an article or case study is shared among followers, which will give you a better idea of what type of content your customers value most. (It can also spark your own creative impulses to come up with value-added topics.)

4.  Set up a Google Alert. This is an easy way to monitor how often your competition is mentioned online. Type in a handful of industry-relevant keywords in the Google Alert (including the name of your own business) and regularly check on who’s talking about competitors and why. This may be quite valuable in assessing how well the other guy’s marketing message is performing in the eternal hunt for new customers.

5. Look at competitors through a customer’s eyes. Marketing expert Jim Joseph suggests engaging in “shopping trips to try out your competitors’ customer experience, both online and in-store.” Study and analyze their approach to customer service, along with the quality and variety of their products and services, and how they are “sourced, merchandised and priced.” This will tell you a lot about their marketing efforts—and where they may be cutting into your customer acquisition efforts as well.

The information you gain from monitoring the competition shouldn’t just be compiled and left on a shelf. Use this research to pinpoint any areas of deficiency in your own marketing efforts and make changes as necessary. Look for new ways to attract prospects through social media and upgrades in your website. Do everything possible to make your own customers’ buying experience as unique as possible. See how well you can leave the competition in the dust.

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