True Market Engagement
In 2002, Australian cinemagoers flocked to see Steven Spielberg’s latest creation “Minority Report“. It portrayed a world in 2054 where criminals are captured before they commited a crime. When Spielberg prepared for the movie, he met with city planners, futurists, advertisers and others to help him create a believable world set in 2054.
If you saw the movie, you will recall the well-placed advertising. In the lead role, Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) walks past a travel agency and a voice over says something like “Hi John, did you enjoy the Caribbean cruise last month? We’d love to see you back.” He then walks past a clothing store and again he’s addressed by name and asked if the jeans he bought last week fit well.
While it’s not 2054 just yet, reaching a similar level of individual engagement with your market can be a reality today. By combining your technology platforms with social media and other online capabilities, you can reach your prospects and customers in a more personalised and targeted way.
Let’s explore some of those methods.
How to Engage Your Market
The software industry is always changing and changing quickly. More and more companies are discovering the benefit of a “cloud based” solution where instead of buying software and loading a CD on a server, they now login to a website via a browser from any web enabled computer.
Instead of seeing your prospects and customers as passive recipients of your marketing collateral, think of new ways to engage them. Your plan to do this will differ based on your go to market strategy and the products and/or services you sell.
If you’re in the B2B space, perhaps providing domain expertise around your product or service will work. If you’re in the B2C space, engaging consumers in a fun online campaign to have them share their experience about your product or service may engage them.
In the past you’ve probably pulled a list of customers based on a set of criteria or sourced a list of prospects from a list provider. A prospect list should be based on predetermined criteria e.g. title, state, number of employees, industry type, annual revenue etc. You may have prepared an “ideal client profile“.
The same process will apply for your online campaign; however with your cloud based CRM solution combined with social media tools will be able to prepare a far more targeted and individual campaign. It can be personalised, based on their previous buying behaviour if you’re targeting customers for cross sell opportunities. If you’re targeting prospects, you’re limited to the data you can source from your list provider.
Can ‘Customer Care’ be a New Way to Market?
Prospects and customers typically have a specific objective in mind when they visit your website. Are you bombarding them with catchy discounts and flashing icons or are you helping them find what they need?
Perhaps a button with a statement as simple as “Are you looking for a new family car?” which takes users directly to family vehicle types is the answer. Helping your clients find what they’re looking for is as important as helping them avoid the things they’re not looking for.
In the B2C world, take the time to look objectively at the major online retailers. For example www.amazon.com and others. Traditional Australian store front retailers have been very slowly moving online, while others have moved partially online with only a limited part of their product range. One large Australian retailer provides their clients with the option to view the current catalogue online and dial their customer service team to place the order by phone. Goods can be delivered to their local store for collection or mailed to their home.
Dick Smith Electronics www.dicksmith.com.au made the move online with a fully functioning ecommerce site. This allows customers to select their products, fill their cart and then provide payment online with a variety of delivery options. In the case of Dick Smith, if you select an item on the home page and click on “+ ADD TO CART” you can be reviewing your cart within three clicks of hitting the home page.
You will also notice that the Dick Smith home page has a very large light bulb with the statement “Research Before You Buy”. Once you enter your research query, for example “Apple Mac“, a short hyperlinked list comes up. Then click on the best matches your query. In the case of Apple Mac, you are taken to a long scrolling page with headings to match part of the Apple range of products available at Dick Smith. No more than a paragraph is provided giving you an overview of each product.
There are no prices, no flashy images distracting you from your research. Of the twelve Apple products mentioned, there was only one hyperlink which connected you to a related Apple product. This approach shows respect for your prospects and customers and you’ve offered to help them with their research. Don’t bombard them with irrelevant information, offers or promotions. Reaching your prospects and customers needs to be focussed on their journey, the buyers journey, not how you want to sell your products or services.
Top 5 Suggestions for Market Engagement
- Understand which technology platforms will enable you to build a targeted and specific list of your prospects or customers.
- Build an ideal client profile. Understand which prospects best fit your product or service. Gather the sales and marketing teams together and brainstorm this profile. Remember, this is an ‘ideal client profile’, not an ‘every client profile’. There will still be average clients, but your ideal clients will be your more profitable.
- Brainstorm campaigns to target the ideal clients. What is it that you offer that is better than any of your competitors? Which product and/or service do you provide that delivers greater value that your competitors?
- Look at the leaders in your market, what are they doing to engage your prospects? Look to social media platforms, web enabled tools to help you engage earlier in the prospects buying cycle. How can you be seen as a thought leader in your space?
- Ensure you have integrity in your engagements. While you want to see each communication method as a potential lead generator, prospects and clients will see through this quickly. Think carefully about what you can give away, something that will deliver value to your prospects and at the same time help you build a profile of your prospects. In the B2B space, it’s ok to ask for something before you give something away. It’s a matter of striking a balance between what you give away for nothing and those things where you may ask a few profile questions before you share your content.
To learn more about how we can support you through this process, Click Here to contact a member of our team today.