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Marketers face a paradox.
Consumers expect your brand to know everything about them – who they are, what they want, and why – and to deliver that at the exact moment they need it. But, at the same time, ad saturation and inbox clutter can fuel resentment. That’s why marketing to today’s consumers demands a new strategy: consumer-first marketing.
How do you meet rising consumer expectations while fulfilling prospects’ hopes for increasingly personalized service? Here are three areas to emphasize:
1. Reciprocal Value
To gain a sustainable edge, you must continually seek new ways to deliver value to customers.
Marketing research shows that today’s customers are on the lookout for value. This includes competitive prices (desired by 68 percent of survey respondents), features like free shipping and returns (prioritized by 50 percent), and the ability to return the product or cancel the service without penalty (preferred by 43 percent).
Each company can add value in unique ways. Consider possibilities like enhancing your product or service, reducing consumer effort, improving customer experience, solving a consumer’s broader problem, aligning your company with your consumers’ values, or encouraging random acts of kindness.
If you don’t want your message to get tuned out by prospects, relevance is vital.
Today’s consumers expect marketers to contact them only with information that’s just what they are looking for (at the moment they are seeking it). Statistics show that a customized message about products the customer is interested in RIGHT NOW can be twice as effective as a generic message to the same customer.
Whether it’s an in-app tip that pops up while a customer is browsing, or a personalized, perfectly timed direct-mail coupon, relevant messages drive brand loyalty.
3. Respectful Empathy
Respect and empathy are the keys to retaining brand potency, but this will only happen when care for the customer is a core tenet of your business.
Does your company have empathy? If you’re not sure, ask yourself this question: “If I were the customer, would I find the experience delivered by my company’s marketing to be valuable and useful?”
Keys to respectful empathy include an unfaltering commitment to customer data security and privacy, treating your prospects as people rather than targets, and refusing to flood your clients with irrelevant messages. Be considerate in three specific ways:
- Transparency – Be clear about the information you collect and why it benefits the customer.
- Restraint – Don’t send every message; send only those most likely to benefit the consumer.
- Control – Allow customers to manage the cadence and channel of messages they receive.
Consumer-first marketing is a unique way to grab a competitive advantage, and the future is bright for brands willing to rise to these challenges. Today’s consumers are ready for a new approach… are you?