No one wants to be thought of as a collection of search terms, cookies or clicks. Advances in technology and the ubiquity of devices – mobile, tablet, desktop, connected TV and more – have made it easy to reduce each individual’s persona to their digital signals. For example, a popular third-party data registry drills down my persona to be a Baseball Buyer and an NCAA March Madness fan – both of which, I am not!
While targeting may seem like an incredibly viable marketing tactic – offering specific messaging and promotions based on historical indicators – it is a very reactive form of marketing. Marketers are focusing on consumers’ past instead of their potential future.
Online, consumers want to feel understood, just like they do in real life. When that authentic connection is forged based on a deeper understanding of each individual, every customer can transform from a transactional buyer to an attracted brand ambassador. So how can marketers go beyond targeting to better understand, relate to, and ultimately attract customers to their brand?
Here are three ways for brand marketers to stop targeting customers and start attracting your ideal consumer:
1. Leverage the mobile journey
It’s no surprise that the average consumer spends approximately five hours on their phone every day, and 81 percent have their mobile at arms reach every minute of the day. Mobile phones have become an extension of ourselves. Have you ever checked how much screen time you spend on your own device? Of all the various devices we rely on today, mobile is by far the most personal. Consumers have grown to expect value at every step of their mobile journey — they want what they want, when they want it.
When marketers truly understand the journey, they can also understand the human behind the screen. Mobile Journey Marketing (MJM) allows marketers to see beyond their own siloed domains and obtain a more holistic picture of each individual with whom they are engaging.
When consumers are better understood, they are more likely to proactively seek out and become loyal to a brand rather than engage in a single targeted transaction. Leverage the information derived through MJM to move past targeting to attract customers to your brand through authentic and relevant content.
2. Omnichannel, not multichannel
Nearly three quarters of U.S. adults own desktop or laptop computers, half now own tablet computers, and around one-in-five own e-reader devices. In 2019, the number of mobile phone users is forecasted to reach 4.68 billion. While each device is not the same, they should all be considered in every marketer’s media mix — and should match up with one another.
Today’s consumers are savvy and fluent in digital communication. They expect seamless experiences across all of their many devices that accurately and authentically mirrors the brands they engage with. In order to provide consumers with the optimal user experience, marketers must prioritize an omnichannel strategy rather than a multichannel strategy.
A multichannel strategy is when a marketer simultaneously activates on each platform and device, but does so in a siloed approach. Conversely, an omnichannel strategy incorporates each device and platform seamlessly to develop and deploy an integrated marketing campaign.
While multichannel marketing may feed targeting platforms and goals, the siloed approach fails to provide customers with a consistent user experience that would proactively attract consumers over time. Marketers must prioritize an omnichannel approach to convert transactional relationships into long-term, brand loyalists.
3. Invest in relationships
It’s no secret that customers want to feel valued and important when engaging with a brand. That relationship begins with the brand’s mouthpiece, the marketer.
Above all else, marketers are charged with forging and maintaining meaningful relationships with consumers. But like all relationships, these connections take time and effort to sustain — especially if marketers want to proactively keep customers beyond their path-to-purchase.
Activating with customers while they’re on their path-to-purchase is one step in a much larger track for marketers. Is the customer journey a one-time event? No. Customers who complete their purchase journey are ripe to start a new one. It’s up to marketers to cultivate meaningful relationships through authentic content and communications.
Targeting can push consumers away because of its transactional nature. By focusing on relationship-building and attraction, marketers can develop a trusted relationship with their audience and deliver long-lasting ROI for their brands.
Ogury is committed to identifying ideal consumers for your brand and delivering marketing messages so relevant to each individual user that they become valuable recommendations, not ads.
Have you decided to stop targeting and start attracting your consumers? Reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Sollers, Head of Brand Partnerships