While savvy marketers are beginning to return to the market with well-thought-through campaigns and budgets which when cleverly planned allow stand-out from the competition, for many marketers budgets are still being squeezed.
For both B2B and B2C marketers, it’s more important than ever to get under the skin of your customers; to unlock a real understanding of what your audience actually wants, to engage with them further, and in the process hold onto them, and reach more like them. This understanding will guide both your offline and online marketing strategy, reduce wastage and focus your activity when time is as precious as your budget.
From large energy companies to independent theatres, car dealers to professional services marketers, the music industry to the hospitality sector, understanding the segments you perform well in, who your most profitable customers and clients are, and the reasons why they stay with you can be the most valuable knowledge you hold.
Increasingly we are supporting clients by running workshops with their key people to learn more about what customers think, buy, use and how they want to interact with their suppliers. Beyond this, segmenting your existing database using geodemographics to identify your top performing profiles and their life-time-value, and in the case of B2B customers understanding who the economic buyer and key influencers are, what they look like and how they buy is paramount to marketing success.
In the motor industry, customer relationship marketing is becoming increasingly crucial to customer retention, and achieving referrals. Customers often replace their cars before their finance agreements expire, and loyalty is increasingly hard-fought in the after-sales relationship. To limit customer migration, forming a relationship from day one is imperative. Retaining an after-sales relationship gives a dealer time to build relationships by providing great service, increasing the likelihood of the repeat sale through understanding the lifecycle of vehicle ownership. Customer journey planning, loyalty programmes and well-planned communication are increasing retention for those forward-thinking enough to engage in these tactics and invest in the future rather than solely conquest sales which are infinitely more expensive to achieve.
For clients such as high-end cosmetic services clients, understanding the different needs and motivations of the audience which can be defined around their age group and lifestyle, allows services as well as communications to be designed around the distinct customer segments and creates an offering truly designed around its customers.
For professional services firms, the relationships with clients tend to be nurtured and owned by the lead partner on their account, and often clients remain unaware of the other services of the firm. The challenge then is for business development teams to understand the potential of clients to engage further with the firm, to design communications which increase awareness of the firm’s full offering and to create opportunities for clients to engage with the wider team. Even more important then, to keep the database clean and up-to-date, create a picture of the buyers and how to engage with them and to do so on their terms.
Marketers traditionally associated segmentation models with direct marketing; however clearly defining your audience applies equally to media planning, your content development strategy for your website and social channels, and product and service development. Time and time again we are finding that discovering as much as you possibly can about your audience can make a remarkable difference to the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Right now it’s probably the most important activity that clients and agencies can engage in.Tweet