With the growth of digital marketing as an industry, there has been a number of companies who believe they can replace their entire sales team with digital marketing. Google has pushed marketers and companies into measuring the full marketing funnel, emphasizing multi-session attribution. While monitoring the full customer experience and journey may be the best approach, it’s not well accepted among business owners and executives.
Many executives and business owners have grown very comfortable with running ads and expecting an immediate sale. Customers have more options now than ever, and are more informed than they have been historically. It is not unlike a customer to revisit your site many times before making a single purchase. A sales agent has the opportunity develop a rapport with the customer, working through an entire sales process which may last for months depending on the price point. However, marketing, digital marketing in particular, has the obstacle of never speaking with the customer.
True marketing, at its core, is building a brand personality for the company and generating trust and demand from consumers. It’s more than just opening a store and trying to sell the items as quickly as possible, it’s about the journey of how the store came to be. Brand loyalty is built through storytelling and trust, a sale may occur once but successful marketing creates a long-term customer. Let’s say a new store opens up selling shoes. While this new store may have all the popular brands, they lack marketing to drive people to their stores. They may even lack the understanding of how long it will take for customers to vacate their usual Footaction or Kicks USA to become a loyal customer to a new store.
As part of this store’s digital strategy they started a YouTube channel and an Instagram account. As the owner was building their storefront they documented the processes each day, showing the whole start to finish. They showed the staff and gave the store more personality, giving followers a behind-the-scenes entrance into the world of their start-up shoe store.
Here’s a true story. Earlier this year, I traveled back home to Philadelphia to attend my best friend’s wedding. I had been growing my beard for nearly a year and I did the basic level of maintenance for it. Knowing that I needed to visit a professional to have it trimmed and line up, I faced the difficulty of finding a barber since I had not lived in Philadelphia for four and a half years. I turned to Instagram to help me find one
After some hashtag research, I came across a particular guy who was downtown and had a really nice online marketing strategy. He posted consistently on Instagram, managed his own YouTube channel in which he held discussions with his customers on relevant topics, and he took booking through a mobile app. My appointment there was one of the best visits to a barber that I can remember, and had I still been living in Philadelphia I would be a loyal customer.
I understand that marketing can be a lot of work and very time consuming for a small business owner. However, for companies with dedicated staff, it is imperative for them to invest the time to market their brand and cultivate customers. This is true even for brands with a long history.
It’s important to understand the differences in generations; just because you had loyalty from Baby Boomers doesn’t mean that you’ll inherit the loyalty of their kids or grandchildren. As an executive or a business owner you have to consistently re-evaluate your value proposition. Having difficulty finding a digital strategy that fits your goals? Your core customer not engaging with you as expected online? Contact us today for a free strategy call and we’ll help you brainstorm some ideas.