“Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.” – Don Draper, Mad Men, “The Wheel”
Don Draper says this to the executives of Kodak while explaining the meaning behind “The Wheel” as a name for their new slide projector. When it comes to brand marketing in 2019, the sentiment still holds true.
Technology has come a long way since the Kodak Carousel slide projector of the Mad Men era. Evolving beyond a glittering lure, it’s now the deep blue ocean that the fisherman’s boat is sailing on. If your brand doesn’t have a digital presence, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage with your audience and attract new customers.
Brands still need more than flash to connect with their audience. To inspire deeper loyalty from your customers, they need to hear from you.
According to the 2019 Adobe Brand Content Survey, Gen Z and Millennials spend an average of 11 hours per day on their devices. Compare that to the U.S. average of 8.8 hours. And according to Google, you only have 50 milliseconds for your brand to make an impression.
Engaging with your audience
Before the age of the internet, brands were limited to print, television, radio and outdoor advertising when it came to reaching their audience. They could only talk at their customers, building a one-sided relationship that customers could easily tune out.
Your customers can’t mute you that easily now. And you can’t mute them.
Think of the digital space as Times Square, with glittering advertisements lit up and casting a continuous gaze on the consumer. Whether it’s seeing an ad while watching a YouTube video in the afternoon, or scrolling past a sponsored post on Instagram at 3am, customers are always online. It can lead to what can feel like an around-the-clock sensory onslaught from brands.
To cut through the noise, customers will be quick to eliminate anything that feels like a bombardment or inauthentic. That’s why it’s important to stay true to your brand and bring value and deliberateness to all of your points of contact. Because it’s not just your brand that’s trying to get a customer’s attention.
What constitutes a brand strategy in the 24/7 climate of the Information Age?
In a world where customers are being inundated with content around the clock, you need to earn their love in order to stand out. They expect advertisements and data collection. Companies need to build relationships with customers in a genuine way that doesn’t feel like a bombardment. They need to get their brand beyond the algorithm.
For example, think of the last time you ordered something through Amazon. Since then, you have likely received a reminder from them about the most recent product that you purchased, along with suggestions for similar items you might like.
These connection strategies are effective when it comes to developing customer relationships and driving sales. But what happens once the sale is over? When the acquisition piece has already been handled, it’s really about customer loyalty and retention.
Loyalty isn’t just buying things
You need more than just sales from your customers—you need their voice. You want them to sing your praises to their friends and family, and post about their experience on Facebook. You want them to be so dazzled by you that they’re pulled to write an online review.
(Psst—we talk about why online reviews matter and how to get more here)
The truth is, people can form an opinion about your brand in a few seconds, based on a conversation that you’re not a part of. So tailor your image accordingly. That means creating a cohesive brand voice, content strategy, reputation, and story.
Control the conversation
Don’t just push your audience to buy what you’re selling. Learn about what’s important to them, and marry it with your offerings and messaging. Think critically about what you are designing into your brand as a feature that communicates love of the customer.
Depending on your industry, product and/or service, this could mean several things. It could mean offering a guarantee on their purchase, responding efficiently to inquiries, setting up a loyalty program, or following up to see how their experience was. Anything that shows you value their business and decision to choose you. For Amazon, it means offering an automatic subscription for staple items that save the hassle of driving to the store, like toilet paper or printer ink.
With so many options available, consumers want to know that they’re valued by the brands they engage with. If they don’t feel the love from you, they’ll move on to a company that actually went the extra mile.
Stay Connected With Your Audience
Fortunately, you don’t need to stock up on energy drinks to stay connected to your audience around the clock. If you want to gain a deeper understanding of how you can maintain genuine engagement with your customers in a way that makes sense for your brand, reach out to us anytime—we’re always online.