Today’s connected customer expects a personal and relevant experience regardless of where it is coming from. Through all the different advancements in technology it is no wonder customers are having high expectations from brands. A positive brand experience starts with content delivered when and where the customer needs to access it (such as through blog marketing), all while avoiding some key mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not spending as much time on content distribution strategy as you do on content creation.
Relevant content is content that is findable when a consumer requests it, this is vital to the customer experience. We live in an always-connected culture yet customers struggle to get the information they are looking for when they want it. I believe the biggest reason for that is companies don’t think through their content distribution strategy to the same extent that they spend time on creating content. We saw this same trend when websites were all the rage. Companies spent hundreds of man-hours building perfect brand experience websites and then they had no money left for driving an audience to those websites.
Mistake #2: Thinking the moment of truth happens in-store.
A consumer’s shopping list is often set before he/she ever enters the store.
It is less about traditional push mediums that retailers have decided are useful in their environments and more about delivering relevant content when consumers want it. Consumers are already besieged with too much information when they are trying to do things that they want to accomplish. Content that brands and retailers create needs to be easy to find and easy to read not only when consumers are at home but also when they are on the go on their mobile devices. Brands need to evolve to be customer-centric rather than brand-centric. Mom has the most time to browse when she is waiting to pick up her kids at some activity, so the content she is looking for has to be available to her at that time. Some consumers can still be switched when they see additional information in store at the shelf…but the majority of the time a consumer’s shopping list is set before she ever enters the store. Today’s shopper is a researcher and shopping is a sport — and omnipresent, multi-channel content has changed the game.
Mistake #3: Controlling the message.
Brands still need to control their own messaging and develop content that supports their unique selling proposition. However, brands need to shift more of their working dollars into investments in user-generated content. Nobody trusts and fully believes the claims brands make but they do believe real people who use and experience products. Brands always want to control the messaging and the creative; quite frankly that makes their creative less authentic. People don’t expect perfection but they do expect authenticity. If you’ve made a good product or offer a good service, user generated content can take you to the next level. For those creative snobs out there, I am sorry to tell you this but because of portable computing power and technology advances, the quality of home grown content is just as good if not better than what comes out of high end design studios. Don’t believe me? Go check out the videos, pictures and recipes that live on bloggers sites — they are fantastic.
Mistake #4: Failing to be unique.
The key to creating a great brand experience starts with uniqueness. For retailers, it’s paramount as there is so much competition for share of wallet. What value is the retailer adding to the consumer’s life, other than to be the destination to buy all your favorite brands? Social media has opened the door for retailers to create a unique voice and to show personality. Be true to your brand’s essence and let that shine through in all of your social engagements. If your brand has attitude, show attitude. If your brand is conservative, be conservative. You can’t be everything to everybody. Take a stand and it is ok to alienate some of the population; that stance will be rewarded by the passion your true brand advocates have for you and the continued loyalty they will show for your brand.
Want to be a better marketer?
Start by being customer-centric. Think about your approach to content creation and it’s distribution. And don’t be afraid to share insights with the very customers who buy your product and have something to say about your brand. Their real life stories bring to life authentic experiences with your brand and those experiences are priceless.