Considering how customers engage, buy and refer
In conversation with a gentleman recently, we talked at length about business development, different ways to go to market, fill the pipeline and the challenges associated with it.
Fun stuff. Good lunch, too.
The conversation ended with, “you know this conversation will never end, right?”
It’s true – successful marketing is dynamic – it is a constantly moving target. As soon as you’ve gotten it down – have your systems in place, executed consistently, have a good customer flow – something changes.
Look at it like this…if you see marketing execution that another firm is doing well – something that your firm could adopt – wouldn’t you adopt it? As soon as you adopt it, you have potentially reduced the level of effectiveness of the original firm’s marketing activities.
But don’t doubt that if you have seen it that others haven’t seen it, too.
So what ends up happening is that noise is created – consumers get inundated with messaging from many different sources with little variation other than a few unexpected stimuli – disruptions.
Think about it – you are driving on an open road for miles on end…isn’t it the changes – the unexpected changes that make you sit up and pay attention? Aren’t you looking for something to break the monotony? Doesn’t that break make for a tweetable moment?
Think about driving in traffic every day back and forth to work. Even though there is a lot going on, there probably isn’t anything remarkable going on that you are going to message somebody about, nonetheless remember in the next 15 minutes. Even if someone cuts you off, stops short at a light, runs a yellow/red light or traffic is crawling.
So how does customer engagement come into play?
As stated, your potential customers are getting inundated with information every day. As a result, many products and services are treated as commodities until something truly stands out. That seems easy, right? Just hire someone to ride an elephant around town with your company’s banner on its side and the world will beat a path to your door, right?
This would be a single-dimension approach to the market. If you speak with direct marketers, they will typically be happy to take your money to do a single mailing for you, but any direct marketer worth his or her salt is going to tell you that it is going to take multiple “touches” or interactions to have a truly successful campaign. It is because our potential customers are somewhat deadened by the volume of information they receive. So the impact your postcard has made may be equivalent to getting a splinter out of an oak tree.
A multi-dimensional approach – using multiple tactics to get more customers – will move you from chopping with a bread knife to cutting with a chainsaw.
So, if you are building an extraordinary business, three things you must take into consideration with your business development activities:
- You’ve got to think in terms of a constantly changing or dynamic marketplace
- You’ve got to think about how to be disruptive and get their attention
- You’ve got to think about multiple dimensions or multiple approaches
Beginning here, you will want to dig deeply on how to engage more customers/clients – not a cut and dry approach, not an out of the box solution, but one specific to your business and your customers. Since nothing happens unless something is sold and nothing is sold unless it is marketed, know that this is one of the foundational investments you will need to make in your company.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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