By Ankur Pujari
Engaging with target customers keeps on getting a bit more complicated with every passing year. As platforms keeps evolving and existing one’s keep updating their algorithms, features along with consumers trends… today’s marketer also have to evolve at the speed of this change to stay effective and relevant. To add to this complexity, the pandemic has changed customer habits considerably; especially when it comes to online content consumption and engagement.
According to Google’s Year in Search Report 2021, customers are now hooked to online shopping more than ever and now prefer shopping from the brand’s website directly for authenticity. The report also revealed that there has been an exponential growth in the overall user base of the internet leading to some new and interesting searches for products and businesses. This has led to an increase in customers opting for D2C brands to make sure that the products that they buy are authentic.
Since the pandemic broke out in early 2020, there has been a paradigm shift not only in the shopping trends of customers but also in the way brands innovating in terms of their customers acquisition strategy. After multiple experiments and trial and errors, I believe brands need to strike the right balance on 2 key parameters – Highlighting the key product USPs and Innovative engagement tactics.
Product selling points
As we adopt to new platforms and new strategies, brands also continue to evolve to these new and exciting challenges powered by a digital first approach. Every customer is at different touch points for the brand, as far as their digital journey is concerned. From brand awareness to post purchase recommendation, a customer goes through multiple touch points through which a brand could communicate with him. Given how every brand is vying for the customers’ attention brands now need to adopt an innovative way to communicate their key selling points at different stages of the customer journey. One needs to strategically deploy multiple channels of communication like social media posts, influencer campaigns, brand activations, digital marketing etc. Identify 2-3 sharp selling points of your product that could be targeted at multiple points.
If a customer is at the awareness stage, it would be ideal to iterate the key differentiators of the product that sway the customer to explore your brand. However, if the customer already user of the brand, it would help to highlight the importance of regularly using the product or create a regime in the long run or even increasing the repertoire of products from brand’s stable. The messaging is absolute key along with how you deliver it. As mentioned earlier, identify the stage your customer is in and automate your marketing funnel to communicate key highlights of your product which could be beneficial to the customer.
Gone are the days when brand purely used to rely on print ads, TVCs or even radio jingles to engage with their audience. We are now in a digital-first world where brands could use new-age platforms to engage with their customers in the language that they understand. New age methods like AR/VR filters, Influencer endorsement, push notifications, emailers, chatbots, etc. have opened up a whole new world for brands to constantly engage with their audience in a cost-effective manner. Again, the key here is content and delivery.
There is no doubt that you need to stand-put for the customer to notice the brand. However, with the onset of social media, brands need to identify new forms of communication that the customers prefer. Making trending topics relate back to your product and engaging with the customers with relatable memes, short videos or even podcasts is a great way to increase brand awareness. The more brands use new ways of engaging with the customers, the stronger the brand loyalty which in turn could help brands avoid investing huge sums of money in marketing campaigns.
Having multiple channels of communication is definitely a major plus for brands. However, it’s the ones that smartly design a strategy involving brand communication along with customer engagement that would lead the race. As marketers, we must optimize brand touchpoints, build trust and authority, and increase customer satisfaction.
The author is co-founder and growth lead, Hyper Connect Asia