During the week, I split my time between teaching English at a school in Madrid, Spain, and writing. “Teach” is a generous word when it comes to my preschool classes; “herding,” “shepherding,” or “trying not to cry in the corner as they dog pile and lick each other” fits too. But for all my corner cries, I have to thank the booger-filled tots. Watching them, I’ve realized (and I include myself in this grouping) that we as consumers are just a few heads taller than our pint-sized counterparts. We’ve been conditioned not to cry when we don’t get what we want, but we manifest our disappointment in other ways. So it made me wonder, from the outside looking in, what can I learn as a marketer to better meet what customers want?
Between story times, here’s what I’ve got.
They want what others have.
Eleven times out of ten, if one kid picks up an otherwise unremarkable piece of colored plastic, all of the other grubby hands start reaching for it too.
When it comes to your brand, word-of-mouth advertising is your best friend. But first, you’ve got to land your first client.
Quick, think fast: Who’s the online we-have-it-all-including-your-soul giant with next day shipping? Amazon. Now, who’s the best clean dog snack brand around? Ehr… Need to do a quick search? Yeah, me too.
Before your brand can become eponymous with your product or service, you’ve got to get yourself out there. Landing that first client that has a domino-effect is difficult. Maybe difficult isn’t the right word; what I want to say is delicate. It’s a trifecta of simultaneously building brand awareness and trust– Where’s the third element, you ask, this is a trifecta after all. Well, that third element is the idea of authenticity (more on that here).
They take the path of least resistance.
This one has one important caveat: They take the path of least resistance as long as that’s what everyone else is doing too. If the ‘trend’ is to shove through tables and stacked books to get to their seats, they’ll do that. Otherwise, they look for the clearest path and stutter-step in that direction with furrowed-brow determination.
And when it comes to marketing? Make the user experience easy. How? It starts with knowing your customer. (If you’re unsure how to do that, check out Persona & Segments: What to Use When.) Once you know what kind of service and experience your target customer is looking for, you can tailor e v e r y t h i n g. The website, design, colors, payment options, information, blog topics, you name it.
They move on quickly.
Their attention spans are short— I mean, short. If I try to do any activity for more than ten or fifteen minutes, I’ve lost them to the floor, which is rife for romping, rolling, and licking, in case you were wondering.
As for your customers, you’ve got to strike a balance with your messaging: Stay in contact, but don’t overwhelm them. This depends significantly on your sector. Research to figure out how often you should be in touch with your customers.
Don’t brush this off, thinking you can continuously attract new customers as old ones drop off. We’ve touched before on just how much easier (and cost-effective) it is to keep existing clients than it is to land new ones. So dig in, keep things fresh, of high quality, and frequent.
One cries, they all cry.
God forbid that something goes wrong or your services are temporarily derailed by something external (hello, Covid). Although we never want nor plan for something to go wrong, it’s inevitable. So, what’s your emergency plan?
Have a plan B, a plan C, and, while you’re at it, a plan D too. You don’t know how many times I’ve had to pull out my plan D when my first, second, and third lesson ideas flopped. Even if you never have to use it, you’ve got the planning done, so you don’t have to worry about it in the future. And all those unused lesson ideas? You bet I’ve got a folder on my computer full of them, waiting for a rainy day.
They thrive with consistency.
Friends who have worked in preschool told me, “You end up doing the same thing every day. It’s hard at first, but once you get the gist, you simply switch out the specifics, but the framework is the same.” And they’re right. We start every class with a song and dance, then go over the date and weather before moving onto the “target lesson.” And that’s it.
Your customers are also fans of consistency.
Now, let me be clear, consistency does not mean you do your job once, and you’re done–particularly when it comes to SEO. That’s a never-ending job. You’ll need to adjust constantly to give your customers a sense of staying consistent with the times.
Consistency also applies to your messaging and content. Your voice should be uniform throughout your communications. You haven’t built your brand up to have it undermined by an off-key email or blog post. If you need help with this last bit, why not hire a professional writing agency? We’ve heard good things.
In the meantime, I’m going to cut out 125 paper pumpkins. I shudder just thinking about all of the glue-covered fingers– the horror, the horror!
If you’re up to your eyeballs in finger paint, reach out to Two Red Crows. We’d be happy to take care of your writing needs so you can get back to more important things, like glitter glue.
Why is our campaign called Going Somewhere, SEO? We’re glad you asked. The whole point of your blog is to land up on the first search engine results page shouting, Pick Me! Pick Me! Sadly, blogs without SEO are going nowhere, simply because Google won’t find them. Our articles are driven by SEO. Occasionally they ask, Are we going somewhere SEO? The answer is always, Yes. What about yours?
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