Marketing Matters: Experience

This is the first post in my new series of blogs – Marketing Matters. This series is intended to look beyond digital into the broader marketing questions. As a digital expert you need to understand the established marketing principles. This is in fact one of the key message from my latest book, Digital Marketing Strategy.

Although digital has been my focus for many years, I have worked across all offline channels as well including press, PR, TV, Radio, direct mail, customer comms, branding and others. I’ve always found this gives me a really powerful perspective on wider marketing strategy which is vital if you want to fully optimise your digital strategy. I hope this series offers you some value.

Experience is perhaps the key differentiator these days. In digital, when thinking of experience, people often think of UX. It comes straight down to the technical principles. But no. Experience is much broader. Every time a consumer touches our brand they have an experience. In-store, seeing an advert, hearing thoughts from their friends, receiving an email, reading an article in the paper or watching a TV advert. It is our job in marketing – digital or not – to provide one consistent, smooth and wonderful experience for those consumers.

Here are 5 key marketing principles to keep in mind for your digital strategy.

1. Know yourself

Your brand is your personality so who are you. How do you dress (visual identity), how do you talk (tone of voice), what do you say (values). This will drive the decisions around the experience you create and you need to know this first. Before anything else. Why? Because every decision you make needs to keep this in mind. Everything you create and deliver must consistently reflect who you are.

2. Know your customers

Knowledge is power. You have to know your customers and also your consumers. What makes them tick? What do they love and hate. About you and your competitors. Do your research and run an insight programme. You need to shape your digital strategy around this. Also ensure you constantly test – continuously improve. Testing guarantees failures but if you fail fast, learn fast and change fast you can be the best.

3. Know your goals

What are you trying to achieve with this app, campaign, strategy? And more generally as a business. Keep this in mind always. If growth is key then does your new app drive that? Does it encourage data gathering, memberships, conversions, member get member schemes? If your goal is retention then does your strategy focus on loyalty schemes, gamification techniques, proactive retention comms? Ensure your broad marketing and business goals are built into everything you do.

4. Surprise and delight

Do something special for your customers. This may just be for your top customers or for all of them. You decide. But make them feel special. This not only encourage loyalty but also turns customers into advocates. Consider how you can build techniques like personalised messaging and gifts into your strategy in a financially viable manner.

5. Go the extra mile. And then another one

“The customer is always right.” I personally don’t agree with that but the principle is fair. Treat your customers as you would treat visiting royalty. Look after them. Fix their issues quickly and make it easy for them to fix them themselves. Be available, listen, show care. Hiding phone number to save on operations costs and not offering an alternative is a poor experience. Consider what you can do to make the customer happy and then push that idea a little harder.

Just some thoughts to get you started. I hope you enjoyed the first in my Marketing Matters series. For more on integrating your digital strategy you can get my book.

Buy Digital Marketing Strategy by Simon Kingsnorth

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