“Marketing is sending the right message to the right people in the right way at the right time. “
This was the opening message of our CEO, Alex Kain during his keynote speech for the Sydney leg of Intrigue 2019 held last August. Afterwards, attendants were treated to an in-depth discussion about how to put that message into action by focusing on what he calls the four pillars of marketing: Content, Audience, Channel & Context.
If you didn’t get the chance to attend Intrigue, this is your opportunity. Watch the video & listen as Alex shares how focusing on the human aspect with the help of technology creates effective marketing.
Alternatively, you can also continue reading this post wherein we’ve summarised the elements discussed.
Planning: A Critical Part of Marketing
“Channel & content should be dependent on the audience. It’s no longer one-size-fits-all. It’s critical that we get the order of that right. And that starts with planning.”
Oftentimes, we get an idea & go straight to execution. Take, for example, a new widget. Once it’s good to go, we send an email about it right away without much thought. In this example, there’s no proper planning. There’s no audience assessment to see how best to reach them. Technology is not utilised properly. Hence, you’re not ensured that you’ll get the best results possible. Worse, it can even be the cause or a contributor to problems arising later on.
“Technology can do a lot of things [like] workflows, triggers, automation, etc. What we don’t always get right is WHAT happens WHEN. And that’s a HUMAN process that we need to think about.”
This is why proper planning is critical. Here at Human Pixel, we take time to map out a business’s process first as part of planning before moving forward. This allows us to see what happens when. This allows us to see the human process and connect to it because we also need to feel that connection to get a deep understanding. Afterwards, we utilise technology to enhance that process.
With the proper planning, we can focus on the four pillars: Content, Audience, Channel & Context to ensure effective marketing.
Content: Keep It Real. Keep It Authentic. Get It Right.
“Exaggerated claims or hyperbole no longer works.”
With technology continuously advancing, people are more knowledgeable than ever. This includes any potential customer. If they’re looking for a product or service, they most likely know something about it. They can smell when something isn’t right. So, exaggerated claims or hyperbole no longer works. But even if they’re new to what you offer& you make a claim you can’t deliver, you’ll find yourself in a very sticky situation later on.
Moreover, when customers know what they want, they only wish to receive relevant information. Don’t bombard them with unnecessary details. Because after all, they want to have a connection with your brand. So, to make a connection, we need to be relevant & know who we’re speaking to. This is why one-on-one conversations are important. On that, you can also do this using technology. While it may seem like mass marketing, knowing how to use technology enables us to personalise the content for each customer.
Audience: Know Who Your Real Audience Is
As we’ve mentioned, we need to focus on our audience to effectively market to them. To do that, we need to know who our REAL audience is. How do we do this? With DATA.
Armed with the right data, we know who we’re speaking to and we can determine how to best engage them. Particularly, having multiple touchpoints enables us to get a 360-degree view of our customers.
To clarify, touchpoints are a brand’s way of interacting with customers. These include website visits & email campaigns.
With multiple touchpoints, we’re able to create a profile compared to having only one source of data. The latter puts everyone in one group or a single bucket whereas a profile allows us to do more. With it, we can differentiate & segment our audience more specifically. We know more about them. So, we need to be more diverse in the way we acquire data.
When we know more about our audience, we’re more equipped to create a stronger connection with them. We can create a better relationship. Specifically, the more we know them, the lesser the chance of sending them irrelevant content.
Channel: Serve Your Audience in Meaningful Ways
“Everyone wants to be served in the way that’s meaningful to them.”
Not everyone uses the same thing whether it be social media, email or what have you. Everyone operates differently. Therefore, we need to serve our audience in a way that suits them. Because that’s what we’re doing—WE ARE SERVING THEM. Not the other way around. We get those positive reviews by giving our customers the service, the content & the business that they need in the best channel for them.
For example, our customer relationship management (CRM) software here at Human Pixel can tell us the best time to send an email to a customer. Our CRM software determines this by looking at the history of receiving & opening emails at a certain timeframe. As a result, not only do we learn what the best channel to operate through is but we also work out the best timing to get optimum results.
That said, the technology that we all have available to us helps improve the opportunity for engagement. We just have to utilise it properly.
Context: Timing is Important
“We need to think how our campaign will live in the real world.”
We need to be observant to make sure customers receive our message well. That it’s not ignored or worse, incurs a backlash.
Here is an example: sending an email about shopping deals during work hours. Since your customer is working, they can’t look at your email & act on it. Yes, they can mark it for later. But your email will most probably be buried under new ones & they might never get to it. As a result, you just lost the opportunity for engagement.
“You missed the mark because of the timing.”
Hence, we go back to why it’s important to focus on the audience—on the human aspect of marketing. We need to know the right timing to create a connection. We cannot build a relationship if we don’t know when to engage.
Further Marketing Insights
Consistency is Key
Oftentimes, marketing stops at the call to action. We don’t think what happens after that. What happens after the customer clicks the button in that email? What if we send them to the wrong landing page? Or maybe the email content is inconsistent with the branding on the landing page? It’s the little things that can undo everything. So, we need to be consistent. If one part is working, everything else should work as well.
Being Present Matters
Two technologies that can help you be present for your customers are Live Chat & a Chatbot. We need to be present as much as possible to provide the support web visitors need. Through these technologies, we’re helping them complete actions which they already want to take but just need some help with.
Data is important but it shouldn’t be at the expense of building a relationship with customers. If they’re filling out a form, ensure that it’s not lengthy or asking for too much information. Furthermore, answering it shouldn’t take too much time. All these factors are a likely cause for abandonment. So, see to it that you’re bringing value to each second you take of their time.
Utilise Your “Negative” Data
If you’re only focusing on the positive statistics of your campaign reports, don’t. Look at the negative ones as well. Utilise them.
For example, for recipients who didn’t open the email, resend the same content but with a different subject line. For those who opened the email but didn’t take action, send them an entirely new one.
This ‘negative’ information should also come back to the company. These should help us improve in making a connection & building a relationship with customers.
Focusing on how our strategies and campaigns impact people at a core human level makes all the difference in engagement. And that’s what ultimately defines us as good or bad marketers.