The Heart of Marketing: How to Connect and Engage with Customers

Marketing is About Feelings First

Marketing is not about selling a product, it is about connecting and engaging your audience. When successful in this endeavor, your business will be the first place they will turn to when they need your products or services.

They will remember how great they felt when dealing with your business, and that is exactly what will differentiate you from your competitors – how you made them feel. Here are 3 things you should know about marketing and connecting and engaging with customers.

1. Connecting can be Messy

While it seems that big brands got there by splashing out tons of money on marketing, keep in mind that money is essentially wasted if it isn’t connecting with consumers. It really doesn’t matter how much money you spend on flashy ads and expensive campaigns if the message doesn’t click with your audience.

Creating a connection is another area where business mimics life. Recently, headlines were dominated and the Twitterverse set abuzz by this short film created by Gillette questioning whether men are really the best they can be. While reactions ranged from extreme outrage to overwhelming praise, what is absolutely undeniable is that Gillette is attempting to be a part of the public conversation surrounding a massively hot-button topic.

This is called engagement. Just like in real life, effective engagement will always be risky. You will have to determine the topics of interest to your audience to truly have an impact.

 

2. Marketing should focus on the needs of the consumer, not you and your brand

No matter what kind of business you run or product or service you offer, the ultimate goal is always the same – to be profitable. This means you need your products and services to sell.

The question is, whose needs are you most focused on? Yours or your consumers’?

The consumer often perceives brands, businesses or companies as faceless “entities” with no emotion or empathy. They are just there, plotting and scheming their next move. This negative view can be changed with the right marketing strategy.

While the jury may be out as to whether Gillette’s campaign was “successful” or not, there can be no doubt of one thing. Gillette is not afraid to show that they care about serious questions, not just selling razors.

When your business is perceived as a group of people all working together to achieve a common goal (which includes making a positive change in the world), your audience will more easily connect with your brand.

Great marketing is people reaching out to people. Show them that you empathize with their plight because it is one that you share and care about deeply. Showcase your employees and give your customers an exclusive insider look at how you do things and what you care about. 

3. Technology Might seem Impersonal, but it Helps you Create Personal Connections

Your consumers are the heart of your marketing. As technology advances, brands have the power to establish a better connection and improve customer engagement.

Cloud computing, IoT, machine learning and automation are just a few of the emerging technologies that are becoming an integral part of business operations, and they can help you create a more personalized experience for your customers.

For example, one of the best advancements in smart tech include bots that can scour the internet looking for any mention of your business or company. That way you can engage with your followers as soon as they mention you.

While technology can certainly create a connection, that doesn’t mean it does so automatically.

If you are not responding to your clients and consumers on social media, you are not connecting with them. Also, ditch those canned responses, nobody likes them. Be authentic, be you!

Keep in mind, tech only works wonders if you know how and where to use it. Technology in and of itself will not create a connection, it only has the power to do so if you use it for that purpose. The rest is up to you.

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Lisa Michaels
Contributor: Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech.
Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels

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Contributor: Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels

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