Are you constantly looking for more effective and innovative ways to meet your customers’ needs? As the famous Henry Ford said (or at least, supposedly said, according to his biography by Anne Jardim): “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
A brand is only as innovative as its customers perceive it to be. According to Harvard Business Review, an innovator should have understanding of one’s customers and their problems via empirical, observational, anecdotal methods or even intuition. Throughout this journey, however, it’s important to continuously test your vision against reality.
Curious to find practical ways to win your consumers’ hearts and minds? Here are some key takeaways to consider for your successful marketing strategy:
- Context matters: Choose your platform wisely. In a recent op-ed article about X (the former Twitter), Dave Lee, a US technology columnist, writes about the way the platform incentivizes violent content. The algorithm makes sure that a content opportunity deemed not to be missed is seen by as many users as possible – even if it concerns a video of a murderous attack. The author points to the so-called “engagement farming — posts designed with the sole intent to elicit literally any kind of response: laughter, sadness, fear. Or the best one: hate.” As he explains: “Hate is what truly juices the numbers.” Lee adds that as the scramble for attention increases, the content will need to become more violent, more tragic and more divisive to stand out. That literally means: more car crashes, high school fights and public humiliation.
Apparently, no brand would ever like to be associated with this type of content. Platform plays a much bigger role than most marketers think, and context can actually make or break your campaign. For further insights on this subject, check out our previous posts here.
- Greater perceived value = greater pricing power. According to Housni Touhami, industry expert and Head of Strategy at Nnani, pricing power is a company’s capacity to increase or maintain prices without losing sales volume. In essence, it is the ability to demand more for a product or service because customers view it as more valuable than competing offerings. The clue here is to provide exceptional value first, on the basis of which to claim your pricing power subsequently. How do we command premium prices while retaining customer loyalty though? Through consistent branding. Research by Millward Brown shows that strong brands typically achieve three times the sales volume of weaker brands and enjoy a 13% price premium.
Pricing power is an essential metric when assessing branding ROI. If you need further powerful insights on brand building and pricing power, check out our previous posts here.
- Craft a strong brand strategy. According to Johnny Corbett, an industry expert helping “decaffeinated teams that need an espresso shot of marketing enthusiasm”, a strong brand strategy should work like a business battery. You should be able to take it and plug it into any conversation, any meeting, any plan and any tactic. When “brand” is misinterpreted as a logo, a line or a website design, all that is visible is the packaging on the outside of the batteries. Corbett says, it’s the energy inside that makes the real difference. Brand strategy starts by understanding what sort of power a business needs to drive it.
- Use emotions in digital advertising. According to Elena Hengel, VP of Marketing, emotions are underutilized in advertising, especially in digital. A recent study by System 1 and Pinterest revealed that high-performing digital ads appeal to our right, “creative” brain with things like characters, distinctive assets, storytelling, and cultural moments. Another study, from Kantar and Affectiva, found that the stronger emotion a digital ad evokes, the more it generates impact and long-term brand equity. In fact, research from Kantar Link and WARC ROI databases points out that top performing high quality digital creative has the potential to generate 4.7 times more profit – great evidence that emotion drives marketing effectiveness and subsequently boosts sales.
- Give your customers what they really need. Customer loyalty is closely related to pricing power and brand perception. Dom Dwight, Yorkshire Tea’s marketing director, advises marketers not to get “bamboozled” by data, which he believes must be balanced with a degree of gut instinct. Furthermore, as Tom Fishburne, the Founder and CEO of Marketoonist, warns, you should make sure your customers have not landed on a journey to nowhere. Tom mentions that while technology can be an excellent amplifier for engagement, tools can’t do it alone. In his opinion, it’s important to remember that your customers and potential customers are complex humans like you. They’re not thinking about your brand all the time. The reality is that not even your brand loyalists are always thinking about you. So, you must reset your expectations and talk to them without the “transactional-path-to-purchase” mentality. This will prevent you from missing opportunities on how you can provide utility to your customers.
We would add also the advice given by Affectiva: Connect with consumers through humour – comedy is a great vehicle to use with your audience. By creating these joyful moments, you humanize your brand and build affinity.
For more ways on connecting with consumers as people, not just as buyers, check also our recent article on human-centric marketing.
Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, offers an innovative mobile media channel. We partner with our global advertisers to deliver video and static content that stands out in a high-attention, clutter-free and respectful environment. Your brand is fully aware of the context in advance, so no brand damage could be inflicted when choosing our platform. By utilizing specific moments of peak undivided attention on the mobile screen, your campaigns are eagerly awaited by consumers and enhance your brand image, thus promoting consumer loyalty and engagement. Our audience consists of 100% verified mobile subscribers endorsed by Mobile Operators – a guarantee that your ads reach only humans. Ready to supercharge your brand communication? Contact us and we’ll be happy to guide you through the semantics of our solution.