10 Aug 2018 By: Jessica Eyre

Fishing is a widely diverse activity—there really isn’t a wrong way to do it. From a lazy Saturday morning casting a simple rod and reel off of a dock to mass offshore fishing operations, each one fulfills different needs for different people.Marketing, in a lot of ways, is incredibly congruent to fishing; both fishing and marketing are highly complex, varying, and oftentimes hard to decode. They require a lot of specialization and acute knowledge of the audience you are trying to attract (or fish you’re trying to catch). Ask any angler and they will be the first to tell you that throwing out your line into unstudied waters will likely leave you going home empty-handed. And it’s Marketing 101 to know that you have to spend time understanding and tailoring a message to a customer to get their attention.Crafting a marketing strategy to optimize customer engagement is not a feat to be taken lightly. However, if you break the process down into these three easy steps, you can take a step back and fully understand the bigger picture of your customer base.customer-engagement

Gain the market’s notice

It’s true that some may argue that casting a wide net and attempting to appeal to everyone is dangerous, costly, and a waste of your business’ time and resources. But that doesn’t mean you have to develop a full-blown marketing campaign for the masses. It’s more about gaining a rudimentary understanding of who might be interested in what you’re selling. Build awarenessWe live in a world where it seems every concept, idea, and even company name has been excavated to the core. As such, it can be harder for new or small companies to break through that noise. Harder, but by no means impossible.Scott Goodson, founder of StrawberryFrog, notes that the new way to break the mold and gain a market foothold is to build a brand around a societal or cultural mission. Today’s audiences are concerned with making the world a better place and are more likely to do business with brands that resonate that.“The world has changed. We are now living in the age of uprisings and movements, Goodson writes. “The sophisticated strategy is a cultural movement strategy. I believe that building brands now requires a cultural movement strategy as opposed to simply a brand building strategy. A cultural movement strategy can accelerate your brand's rise to dominance. Once you have cultural movement, you can do anything in a fragmenting media environment, maximizing the power of social media and technology. “ Educate the massesWe are a civilization that is obsessed with information. A recent report from eMarketer found that the average American spends more than 12 hours a day consuming information and media. The people are info-hungry, and it’s your job to satiate that hunger!Customers trust and want to do business with companies that know what they are talking about. However, they are also weary of being sold to. There exists a fine line between companies and their buyers—research from IDG found that decision makers receiving educational information from companies might not have their best interests in mind. In spite of this, these individuals value resources from vendors as much as any other source if tailored to their needs.You should make it a priority to become a thought leader in your industry. Provide your potential clients with free access to information through the use of blogs, whitepapers, and original research. In return, you’ll begin to have a good idea of who is interested in your services and how you might be able to meet their needs.

Pick the keepers

growing-up-plantOnce you have established a good idea of who your audience is, you can start customizing the journey for them.Focus your attention on the customer experienceNow that you have narrowed down a more targeted audience, you can begin to develop a tailored experience for each persona. This concept of the customer experience is a fairly new one, and getting your foot in the door early can give you an exceptional leg up on your competition.Customer experience has a lot of moving parts to juggle, and all of these components largely revolve around the unwrapping of customer data. Being able to decipher and act upon insights mined from customer interactions can be tricky, and it’s increasingly a sought-after position for more and more businesses every year.Do not be frightened by the prospect of jumping straight into the technicalities of CX. Here are some rudimentary changes to focus on when considering your customer experience:
  • Automating mundane tasks (Autofill fields, electronic signatures, self-service options)
  • Using data to cater to user needs (Recommendations, special offers)
  • Revamp your website (Clean design, click reduction, addition of live chat functions)
Create a fun and resourceful connection with your audienceIn a world of social media, “challenges” to raise awareness, and a never-ending supply of memes, it’s important to stay read up on the latest online trends. This helps you not only to stay hip and relevant, it really creates a sense of humanization for your brand.Keep your hand on the pulse of the customer. Make every effort to engage in fun, thoughtful, and resourceful communication with them. This can be easily accomplished through the utilization of social media, rapid email response, and even website live chat.

Nurture the relationship

It’s always a smart business decision to put a great deal of focus into retaining Understand your relevance post-purchaseCongratulations, after all of your hard work in your efforts to understand your customer base, you finally made a sale! However, your job with this account doesn’t end there. You want to anticipate what your customer will want next and how to deliver it to them.For example, if you are in the business of selling and installing home pools, you probably would not want to continue pushing targeted pool sales onto a customer. Instead, perhaps provide them with valuable information occasionally on proper pool care or perhaps even fun summer pool party ideas. That way, when the time comes to replace a part in their system, you’re company’s name is fresh in their mind.Knowing your place in the customer’s journey is integral to ensuring future sales. In an article on LinkedIn, Director of Clear Data Sports Sam Lambourne outlines some key characteristics for ensuring customer retention:
  • Maintaining a level of trust: Humanize yourself and provide information and assistance when it doesn’t necessitate sales pressure.
  • Continue to learn about the customer: Listen to what your customer has to say and customize messaging accordingly.
  • Manage expectations: If you say or offer something, try to remain true to your word.
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