In today’s business environment there are ever-increasing ways to connect with your buyers. Who do you know that hasn’t complained about too many emails? Have you heard enough yet about how social media will transform business? And who doesn’t have (or at least want) a smartphone? With so much information about how to market and sell, we must ask ourselves “what’s the best way to connect with my particular buyers?” This article provides a summary of consumers’ expectations and a method for matching what your buyers want and how to deliver it.
Results of survey were published recently that brought to light what marketing channels consumers found most valuable. This survey compared the perspectives of the consumers with that of the marketers sending the messages. The two charts below illustrate the results.
A quick summary of findings are as follows:
- Consumers found email to be the most valuable way to receive marketing messages, and marketing emails were found to be most relevant and accurate compared to the other channels.
- Overall, personalized web experiences came in 2nd place as a valuable deliver channel for marketing to your buyers.
- Interestingly, mobile (apps, ads and text messages) were found to be the least effective way to deliver marketing messages
As you can see from the charts, marketers didn’t exactly get it right. Perhaps eternal optimists, they think the messaging channels they are using to market to buyers are far more valuable than those on the receiving end of the messages.
4 steps to using the best marketing delivery channel with the right messaging
So, what’s a marketer to do to ensure they are using the most valuable channels for their particular buyers? Here are 3 steps to figure that out…
- Think about all your customer groupings and give each a name like “working Mom” or “weekend warrior”, “high-fashion 30 something female”, “B2B high ticket industrial seller”, or “B2B health care discounter”, etc. In sales and marketing, we call these customer groupings “personas”. Now, impose the 80-20 rule…80% of your sales come from the same 20% of your customer groupings. In other words, limit your customer groupings (personas) to say 3 to 6. This allows you to concentrate on a limited number of personas.
- Step back and think about how each persona becomes aware of companies like yours, how they research and compare offerings, what’s important to them in the research and shopping process, and finally what are their 2-5 most important criteria for making a decision about the purchase? If you aren’t sure, do some research. This can be done via customer focus groups, calling a group of current customers to get their feedback, and/or conduct a survey of sorts.
- Once you understand how your personas behave through the buying process, you can begin to understand how best to get your messages to them. You can also begin to shape the content of your messages so they are most relevant to your particular persona at a particular phase in their buying process. These are the fundamentals of marketing strategy.
- Finally, as your activities shift from marketing (lead generation) to sales (revenue creation), you can use your knowledge of your personas to shape the sales process, enabling you to focus your unique selling propositions to those things that really make a difference to your buyer.
Having a strong understanding of your personas, thinking about how they behave during the buying process, shaping your marketing efforts to communicate the right messages, and utilizing the most valued marketing channels for your personas will bring the right qualified buyers to you. Once your qualified prospects engage with you in the selling phase, communicate the unique selling propositions that make a difference for that particular persona.