Tap Into Consumers’ Aspirations
By Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia Inc.
Ambitious business owners are eager to add customers or clients and do more business with the ones they have, but they have to accept a simple, uncomfortable truth: Customers have the power of choice. No matter how good your services or products are, you still need your would-be buyers to notice you, consider you, and choose to do business with you. As such, it is essential to focus on the image you project and the messages you send.
Today’s customers and clients have been raised on television and its sophisticated approaches to marketing. This reality profoundly affects how people choose companies, and you will profit by understanding the decision-making process getting ahead of the curve.
Marketing today focuses on the happiness and satisfaction of the customer, not on what the advertiser does. This style of messaging contains literal truth at its core, but the words and images focus on higher concepts and truths. When you reach out to prospects and customers, you should aim for the heart and mind. Think about how they might idealize a company like yours, and play to those ideals. When the messaging is too literal, you are at risk of seeming trivial compared to competitors who strike the right chords.
As you upgrade your marketing, you might choose to renew your image and message elements: company name and logo, tagline, color scheme, website copy, online customer service applications, videos and more. None of these elements alone is transformative, but when they work together in harmony, the customer sees what they want in you.
You need to be exceptional on your website, on the phone, in mail and e-mail and in person. Conceive and engineer highly pleasing interactions in each venue. Start with the website, and make sure that it engages visitors and empowers them to act immediately, so you don’t lose them to a competitor who satisfies their desire for instant gratification.
Develop excellent telephone procedures and protocols that use the customer’s time well and make your whole team look smart and friendly. Pay attention to every detail. American consumers believe they should associate with the best companies, which are the consistent ones that never disappoint.
As you aspire for greatness in these ways, you will improve company morale. Employees will see that you are all working together to make yourselves look like the best company in your niche, and they will love the company more and be glad they work for you instead of the less enlightened competition.
Commit today to crossing the communications divide and truly meeting your market. Only then will you move the needle on customer acquisition, customer loyalty, word of mouth and customer reviews. You’ll get more new customers every year, do more business with them, and retain them longer. You will own a stronger, more valuable company and gain the freedom to set your prices higher.
Image building isn’t cheap, but it's worth every penny.
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