Customer success strategies are always changing, but what never changes is the need for unique and efficient ways to keep customers engaged. As marketing and advertising evolve to meet the changing demands of a more digital landscape, they often struggle to keep methods human-centered. This is a problem because most consumers expect brands to be transparent. They also prefer to find brands through interruption free experiences, increasing the challenges for marketers in reaching consumers without becoming a nuisance.
According to Gartner, 80% of future company revenue will come from existing customers. This increases the pressure on marketers to find clients that are a match for their services, to prevent costly turnover and missed revenue opportunities. Richard Branson, marketing and brand extraordinaire, put it this way, "A good entrepreneur starts with a customer problem. From this point, they can develop a solution and with passion, hard work and a bit of a risk and luck, they stand a good chance of success. Marketers are very well positioned to understand those customer problems."
One of the best ways to avoid circumstances in which a brand is perceived as an interruption is by shaping outreach around existing consumer behavior. As a result, behavioral marketing is emerging as one of the best ways to find engaged users. When asked about the customer engagement paradox Ryan Urban, CEO of BounceX, a behavioral marketing firm explained, "I would say that it's less of a customer engagement paradox and more of a customer identification paradox. The problems that exist in truly connecting with consumers are rooted in the fact that very few brands, beyond Amazon, are capable of tying individual consumers to all of their owned devices and identifying them at the time of engagement."
Customer identification is one of the reasons behavioral marketing is gaining so much traction. By providing methods for marketers to base their strategies on past behavior, these techniques can improve the quality of leads and identify previously inaccessible customers. Urban went on to say, "In a world where consumers have more options than ever before, if you are not thinking with a consumer-first mindset, your strategies will consistently be self-serving, your programs underperforming, and consumers converting with your competitors."
Influencers and Thought Leaders
One of the biggest ways to boost credibility for a brand is by developing partnerships with people who already have the trust and confidence of your audience. Influencer marketing is one approach that is growing in popularity, with countless companies reaching out to solo influencers or agencies that manage influencer portfolios. The one thing to consider when considering an influencer strategy is their audience. There is little sense in having your brand featured by an influencer whose audience would never do business with you.
An alternative to the influencer model is gaining endorsements from industry experts or existing clients that are thought leaders in their industry. If people look to them as experts, they might consider their support of your brand an important step in doing business with you. Alternatively, you can work to position your company or its leaders as the industry thought leaders, to increase confidence in the brand for new and existing customers.
One of the best ways to get a better-qualified customer is leveraging a cognitive bias known as frequency illusion. The basic principle is that after someone encounters a name or brand, they suddenly begin to see it everywhere. For example, after seeing a commercial for the newest Prius, you start to see them more often when you are on the road. In reality, they were around before, which is why it's an illusion.
Companies that creatively leverage this principle can make significant inroads with consumers that are new to their brand. Through tools like retargeting, social media, and influencer marketing, companies can intentionally increase the frequency someone encounters their brand. Compounded with the frequency illusion bias the customer is likely to start viewing the brand as a credible option or solution.
With marketing, there is rarely a single solution that can solve every challenge, so it's critical to evaluate every option and invest in the right tools to help your company grow. Be wary of brands that promise the world but struggle to explain how they plan on delivering. Seek out businesses that are honest about the benefits and limitations of their products.
As innovators think of new ways that technology can humanize marketing, companies will have an easier time finding the right kind of customers that are likely to be highly engaged with a strong lifetime value. This is useful for anyone interested in their services because it will decrease the likelihood of purchase dissatisfaction and save time that otherwise would be lost attempting various solutions before finding the right one.