Courting a customer isn’t so different than trying to attract a new love. You want to present your best self, while still being authentic. You want to make sure you’re attracting the right person, and not just anyone who’s bored and has a free minute. Your marketing strategy needs a bit of depth, so that you’re not just gaining short-lived attention with discounts and promotions. You need a little sugar.
And by sugar, we mean a little finesse in your marketing strategy. You need to know which trends are here just for a minute, without any staying power, and which are trends that will add value for building a solid plan.
Sweeten up your strategy with a few of the most important trends for 2021:
Agility: You know why you need agility, so there’s no need to mention the events of the past year. You may even be wondering if there’s any point to planning, but the best companies are able to quickly pivot to shift their priorities in the midst of any challenge.
That means you plan, but you plan for variations of your strategy, not just one strategy.
This also reinforces the importance of a multi-channel approach that doesn’t rely too heavily on any one format for reaching your audience. Sure, you might see your best engagement on LinkedIn if you’re a B2B company, but it’s a good idea to try to weave in some live events (or virtual) as a way to augment those online conversations with deeper connections.
Even if you saw significant growth through digital platforms in 2020, your strategy should include some additional touchpoints with customers. It provides multiple paths for your strategy when you balance your channels. Build in some traditional marketing so that your audience is seeing your brand in a variety of formats and settings.
Sweet Nothings: Nobody wants to date someone that is self-centered, but a lot of companies behave as if this is the way to gain customers: “Let me tell you how great our product is, and then I’ll tell you about our company. I’ll finish by telling you to make a purchase.” Can you imagine a first date like that? You’d run for the nearest exit, and if you take this approach with your customers, you can expect them to run, too.
Instead, be ready to listen. Listen not only for the big things, the features they want and the problems they’re trying to solve. Listen for the sweet nothings, the bonus information that tells you the ways in which they prefer to communicate with your company, the things they value most in the brand experience, and what type of website causes them to shop a competitor.
This can be applied in a number of valuable ways:
- You might be in a rush to go back to live events as 2021 progresses, but is this always the preference of your customers? Think about what their priorities are, and if convenience and cost are the two primary considerations, you may want to continue to offer some events via a virtual format.
- Through demographic analysis, you may find that your customers seem to be an environmentally-conscious group. Before rushing to implement some messaging and action items around sustainability, you talk personally with some of your customers. You find out that while the environment is important, your position as a local business could be important for raising awareness for a local animal shelter or a food bank that’s right down the road.
- Consider whether doing something a little different than you normally do might help you distinguish your brand in the market. Maybe producing short, informational live videos on your social media sites would be preferable to webinars or maybe a video-weary market might more enthusiastically tap into a podcast.
Trust and Authenticity: Any relationship is built on mutual trust, whether it’s a romantic connection or your ability to build a bond with your customer.
As companies continue to move forward during this pandemic, there’s a growing awareness that building trust with your audience and customers is far more important than how quickly you can get a new offering to market or the efficiency with which you develop opportunities.
This plays out in a lot of ways, but one example is in how companies determine whether to take a stance on social issues. Many customers are choosing to do business with companies that share their views on racial injustice, labor practices or sustainability. While your company may share the same values as your audience, there’s a risk in making a public announcement of your company views.
That risk is in ensuring that not only are your corporate practices in line with your statements, but that you also have full buy-in across your organization. If you don’t realize that one of your departments is cutting corners in their labor practices, nothing will be faster in bringing it to light than making a public statement about the well-being and care of your workforce.
2021 offers a bright future for love, whether you’re pursuing a romantic relationship or developing a lasting love between your company and your customers. Contact us at SJC Marketing, where we can help you make a forever match through a solid marketing strategy.