Building Relationships with Your Customers

Customer-Centric Building Blocks

Based on my experience, I suggest these seven actions as fundamental building-blocks to a customer-centric strategy:

  1. Get inside their heads and hearts. Some of our best campaigns were a result of listening to the customer, from hearing life stories to capturing their beliefs and family connections. Large data is valuable, but sample groups, video interviews, and other tools put a personal stamp on large swathes of intelligence.
  2. Align offers with consumer values. Campaigns should deliver on offers, prizes, and collateral that are emotionally powerful and solve consumers’ real challenges. Solutions and incentives that resonate with consumer values can help bridge the gap between a service and a trusted friend.
  3. Mix it up, think omnichannel. While most consumers use some sort of social media or digital channel, it is a mistake not to diversify. Use a mix of touchpoints and take the message to the channels where the community is most engaged. In our case, this is Facebook andYouTube.
  4. Video is powerful. A visual and audio message can engage a consumer in a way that simple print (digital or otherwise) simply cannot. If budget is limited, consider throwing it behind a well-produced video, or evaluate the performance of some of the simpler, do-it-yourself video options out there.
  5. Match the message to the medium. When you consider that over two-thirds of Americans own smartphones, it almost goes without saying that mobile-specific content is a must. However, don’t overlook the long-form appeal of earned media, or the hyper-linked content delivery capabilities of digital. Your market will most likely respond to a mix of these, giving you valuable cohort data, but take the time to ensure the message and presentation are a fit for the channel.
  6. Check in, early and often. While content calendars are a must to ensure brand continuity and meeting the message strategy, don’t lose sight of the real goal: community engagement. Make responding to community interaction a priority for your social team. By taking swift action in response to community dialogue, you will not only realize your enterprise’s goal of engaging the consumer but also earn valuable insight and new opportunities.
  7. Timing is everything: conversation threads, post topics, and supporting dialogue shouldn’t simply track to the enterprise’s calendar. Be sure to align content with your community’s interests and priorities. In our latest campaign, for example, we created an almost year-long calendar of creative and conversation to align with consumers’ key milestone and holiday periods. Partnering with trending interest in back-to-school, holidays such as Mother’s Day or Thanksgiving, or other key topic areas, ensures that your content is relevant, timely, and easy to introduce into trending social themes.



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