Why Audience Relationship Is Crucial To Your Marketing Success
The content marketers among us know it’s no longer the age of Mad Men making sexy and fairly irrelevant big-budget advertising campaigns happen for an audience limited to 2-3 channels and 2-3 content types with 2-3 competitors. Today, consumers demand a different approach. So, we publish sexy, relevant, educational, inspiring, funny, sharable, engaging, and smart content that works for 2 gabillion channel and platform combinations, more competitive product options than anyone will ever need, and for an audience with an average attention span of 2.8 to 8 seconds. Oh, and is there a Virtual Reality application for that?
Easy, no? Doable? Well, it has to be. The age of build it and they will come, is gone. Today’s consumer is way too savvy and content-saturated to be pulled in by drivel. (I’m not sure how that explains reality TV, but it may be fair to say that reality TV defies explanation anyway.) It’s no longer a 1-2 touch conversion process. Our digital audience has gotten wise to flashy brand promises that come shackled to terrible experiences like being email-hounded to buy all the new things or spending an hour every week to update that bug-ridden product that was released too soon.
As brand and product marketers, we are now in relationships with our consumers whether we like it or not. And that means investing in that relationship. Being in a good relationship is a two-way street, so create a relationship that is win/win for both brand and consumer.
Shoestring Budget, Space Odessey Needs
How do you make the most of a smaller than optimal budget while creating content that actually delights your target audience, creates relationship, and moves the needle in the right direction? You may need to focus your marketing mission on one goal — land that moon shot by bringing meaningful value to your customer.
If you don’t have enough budget to bring meaningful value on all channels, focus your budget into doing a great job in one place. You don’t want to be even a fraction of an inch off when you’re creating this strategy, so being in tune with your segment insights will be the lynchpin for success (that one “simple” hack I mentioned above).
Here’s how you tune up your approach…
- Get to know your audience. Listen in on their conversations. Figure out what impacts their world. Identify their true needs and emotional drivers. This can be as simple (and inexpensive) as opening your ears at a local coffee shop frequented by your target audience or attending a conference targeted towards your ideal customer.
- Represent an amazing (bug-free) product that solves a problem or emotional need. (Simple, right?) Seriously though, good product does help save marketing dollars.
- Figure out what differentiates your product from your competitors and create a compelling story around that feature.
- Cast your audience as the hero of your compelling story.
- Go where your audience already lives and start telling the story.
- Focus on owning that one audience-preferred channel and really getting it right.
- Build on user momentum to ignite your omni-channel plan. (Maximize UGC)
- Stay attuned to customer success and feedback. When you’re growing your audience, those are going to be rich areas for story development.
When you get one channel nailed, you’ll know what works for your target audience. And that’s when you can recreate the experience on other channels and expand your reach.
Yes, this approach helps you get those awesome metrics that your boss loves, and it saves money on content production, but it does something even more important… it puts your audience needs in the center of your plan. And that’s when your customers feel heard and understood. And then your relationship becomes a two-way street.