Brands need to cultivate relationships with the their consumers; to do that, they first have to stop talking about themselves.
Your brand needs to stop marketing AT your customers.
Until recently, brands relied on the classic one-way approach to charm, convince, and even shame consumers into purchasing their products.
As long as the brand was the only one with access to a few available communication channels (radio, TV, print) the consumer had no choice but to endure the exposure to these messages and ultimately be influenced by them.
In today’s communications environment, however, the coin has been flipped. Digital has given consumers the ability to directly communicate with brands, telling them specifically what they want, how they want it, and where they want it delivered.
And they are increasingly rejecting irrelevant, all about me, brand messaging and forming negative perceptions of those brands that engage in it.Digital has given consumers not only information and choice, but also a voice. Click To Tweet
The truth is consumers never wanted to be sold to in the first place. The difference is that digital has given consumers not only the power of information and choice but also a voice.
Consumers are telling brands that they expect to be served—not sold. Those same consumers are also demonstrating that they are willing to reward great service with their purchases and loyalty.
That’s why brands must stop talking, step off the soapbox and start listening to consumers.
Top 10 Reasons You Need to Stop Marketing
In case you need more convincing, here are our top 10 reasons your brand needs to stop marketing at your customers and start listening to them:
- If your customer is on your site, it means your promotion worked. They don’t need more convincing, they need help getting what they came for.
- Unless you’re the soup guy from Seinfeld, you probably don’t yell at your customers when they enter your store. So why would you yell at them when they enter your site?
- Customers want to do something specific on your site. They don’t want to read your Facebook or Twitter feed at that point. They are counting on the site to know what they want to do and help them do it quickly.
- Walk a mile in your customer’s digital shoes. For example, if your site does the same thing another site does that annoys you, that feature needs to be fixed or eliminated.
- No one likes to be talked at. Instead, provide customers with the ability to participate with your brand by providing them with a way to communicate with other brand enthusiasts.
- Customers care about facts, so figure out which ones they are interested in and make them easily available. Opinions are nice to have, but facts are what make customers feel good about their decisions.
- Customers who lose interest in what you are saying will vote with their mouse. Find out what pages they’re bailing out on most often and figure out why. Promote content that your customers want and demote content that they don’t.
- Make customers feel listened to by making sure your site’s search feature actually works. For example, if your customer types in the word “Pants” into your site’s search, they shouldn’t see jackets at the top of their results.
- Your customer interacts with your site as though it is a living thing. As customer needs change, the site must adapt to meet those new needs. If part of your site is creating a problem for the customer, fix it or eliminate it.
- Don’t make consumers look and listen to content that derails them from their original mission. In fact, the more time you save them, they more they will love your brand for it.
Hopefully, we’ve made our point. We also know that depending on your organization, it may not be easy to make this transition. But to succeed long term, this transition must be made sooner than later. The brand and the bottom line depends on it.
If you have questions about this list and want to explore ways your brand can address specific areas of concerns, take the Stuck Score™ below.