Conversations are happening at record pace all around us across all channels. How do you determine which conversations to listen to? When should you pay attention? How should you respond? How can you start your own?
As a unified marketer
, the art of establishing the framework to allow customers, prospects, and employees to have a conversation about your brand is increasingly challenging. When successful, the rewards can be great for all parties involved. So the question is, how do you fuel the conversation?
Here are a few core items to get you started: Stop thinking single media.
People don’t consume messages in a single channel anymore. A personal example of the number of media I consumed (several simultaneously) this morning. On the way to the airport, I was listening to the radio, viewing billboards, reading personal and work email, texting, checking in on 4Square, and checking my Facebook newsfeed. If I stop and break down my goals by channel, what were my goals? This is what I have to understand as a marketer in order to deliver the right message at the right time.
- Radio: Morning traffic/weather updates enroute to airport (How late was my flight or I going to be??)
- Outdoor: Boredom in the traffic I was hearing about on the radio and sitting in on the interstate
- Personal Email: Plans with friends for the week and planning Halloween activities for the coming weekend
- Work Email: Trying to stay on top of the normal Monday flurry of emails as clients are back in the office so that I wouldn’t be too far behind after a few hours of ‘being unconected’
- Texting: Normal conversations with my inner most circle of friends
- 4Square: Seeing who else was at the airport? Any specials that look good? Getting those early week points on the leaderboard (and trying to earn my Mile High Badge in-flight).
- Facebook: Sharing frustrations about flight delays and seeing what the larger group of virtual friends have been up to since 11:30 last night
The reality is that I was open to receive marketing message during very few of these activities but I was absorbing brands every step of the way.
If you don’t know your target intimately you will be hard pressed to truly engage them.
A unified approach
to messaging is essential!
Quit Talking To Me
I don’t trust you and I’m going to ignore what you have to say about your own brand. As a consumer, all I want you to do is have the best product or service possible and allow me to find the information I want, when I want it EASILY.
Let your customers tell me about what you do and why it’s superior. I will automatically trust them more even if I don’t have a relationship with them because I see them being infinitely more genuine and unbiased.
As a brand, provide the framework for me to silently observe the conversation, obtain facts, and choose if I want to hear from you.
Be Different and Human
The one thing I consistently feel like I’m not getting enough of is human connection. 90% of the time I become loyal to a brand because of its personality or the connection I have and I guarantee you I’m not alone. Brands are humanized differently based on the channel they are speaking in but the persona must be consistent to reach me, get my attention, and keep delivering.
All of this being said, here are the key takeaways to achieve success in my opinion:
If you’re a marketer – quit planning by channel. Decide which conversations you want to fuel, where they occur, and build the framework:
- If you’re a brand – know your customers and who you want to be your customers. You have to go way beyond demographics in today’s world – you need to get intimate. Pull it all together, Behavioural, Psychographic, Attitudinal. Put a name and face on these personas – it will help. Secondly, if your product or service sucks, fix it! You can’t afford to waste any more time.
- If you're a consumer – keep expressing your opinion and thoughts. Good, bad, confused, etc., because your peers care what you have to say. And you (collectively) continue to shape the world I work in and we all live in. The conversation I’m trying to fuel comes from you (and it makes work challenging and fun)!
These are my thoughts on fueling the conversation. As you begin migrating to a unified marketing approach, the conversation becomes more critical to building experiences that unite brands and people.What do you think?
(Image Credit: Pratts Fuel by conorwithonen