Romancing The Customer — A Digital Marketing Strategy that works
Here is how a customer goes from not knowing anything about your brand to actively promoting it.
A digital marketing strategy can draw a parallel to how romance occurs between humans.
A brand needs to build an intimacy with the customer in order to have the customer rapidly move from not knowing anything about a brand to proactively promoting it.
Many studies have been conducted to study how intimacy between animals works. It turns out, that emotions of belonging and trust are the strongest factors in helping someone develop an affinity toward a brand.
This has a huge impact on understanding how the consumer psyche works and what kind of impact the right strategy can create on actions taken by the consumer.
The systematic strategy that is followed is known as the Customer Value Journey.
The customer value journey is built on the objective of creating intimate relationships between the prospects and the brand and helps create a predictable system to do so.
The most noticeable and adapted theory is one proposed by zoologist, Desmond Morris, who spent a considerable amount of time studying how intimacy in animals works.
He came up with 12 stages to explain this:
They are as follows:
- Eye to Body
- Eye to Eye
- Voice to Voice
- Hand to Hand
- Arm to Shoulder
- Arm to Waist / Back (Hug)
- Mouth to Mouth
- Hand to Head
- Hand to Body
- Mouth to Body
- Hand to ______
What is interesting to note is the order in which these steps occur, and it was apparent that missing either one of those has a detrimental effect on the relationship.
These 12 steps have been taken and compressed into 8 steps by marketers to help brands build that intimacy with their customers.
The 8 Stages of The Perfect Digital Marketing Strategy Are As Follows:
Step 1: Announcing the brand or Show of Strength
The first step of the customer value journey would be to make people aware of the brand.
You need to announce yourself to the audience. Using a variety of Media such as paid campaigns, micro-influencers, etc.
The goal at this stage is to build intrigue and curiosity and show the customers the brand has arrived.
(I can imagine a massive 500-pound Gorilla standing on an open field yelling and chest-thumping or Muhammad Ali (big fan) yelling The Champ is Here)
Spread awareness about the brand and provide informative and fun content to attract curiosity from target audiences,
Step 2: Strike up a conversation and engage with them
The next step is to engage the customers who have followed and liked the brand pages with interesting content.
Create an inclusive tone and get them involved, by giving them content that interests them and something which makes them share their opinion.
(This is the point at which one approaches another and strikes up a conversation.
“Hey you must be from Tennessee because you are the only 10 I see”
Obviously, now you know why I am single, but you get the point)
Engagement here is not only getting people to like and comment but creating content that sets an inclusive tone for consumers and encourages audiences to give their opinions about the product etc.
Social Media is a great tool to encourage engagement from consumers.
Step 3: Get their Contact Info
At this step, we would like to get customer contact details.
So we can run a discount offer or a value offer online such as buy 1 get 1 free through which we can get details from customers such as their email address, phone number, etc.
(The conversation is going well and now you want to get their phone number.
“Hey I lost my phone number, could I get your’s?”
Clearly, making content for brands is what I should stick to…)
Step 4: Ask them out on a date!
Next is getting the consumer to convert.
So they have given us their details and at this stage, the consumers agree to give us their money in exchange for the products and services that we sell.
At this stage, we put our best foot forward as this is when sampling and first-time adoption of the product will take place, a very keen interest has to be taken in customer service and making the customer feel special.
(At this point, take them out to a restaurant you think is best, offer them the best in everything that is possible with the resources at hand, the idea is that they need to feel special)
Step 5: Surprise them and Excite them!
At this step, when they actually purchase the product, we excite them with something. This adds to the amount of value the customer will get by purchasing from us.
Having a surprise element can do wonders to make a customer feel special and gives the customer a message that the brand cares.
(Say after dinner and dance, you offer them a gift which helps you express your gratitude for coming out with you. It could be one flower, a box of chocolates or I don’t know a coupon a bike ride on the open road)
Step 6: Take the next step or Elevate.
At this stage, the customer will come back and purchase by themselves, if at all we have implemented the earlier steps correctly.
This purchase will be the first actual proactive purchase that the customers will make and can be driven by creating brand recall and keeping in touch with customers through valuable content sent to their email.
(Say you drop them a message, informing them there is a great play that’s going to be in the city on so and so date… or this new restaurant has the best seafood in Mumbai. Then wait for them to call you.)
Step 7: The First Kiss
Here is where we collect reviews across all media that we own online. We ask buying customers to review our products.
This is where word of mouth spreads and the number of customers starts to grow and our client’s brand gets established as a credible and trustworthy brand.
This is the stage where affinity starts to build.
It is important to respond to all reviews good or bad.
( This is akin to moving in halfway for the first kiss ( Yeah I get this from ‘Hitch’)and if the person leans forward and meets you halfway, that means you’ve done it, if they say bye and leave then you’re out)
Step 8: You definitely should meet them, they are so much fun
Here is where the customers become brand ambassadors themselves and start promoting the brand to their peers.
( I am meeting this person for dinner and drinks, you definitely should meet them, you guys will get along so well and it’s important to me that you do)
Provided all the steps are implemented correctly, by the time we reach this stage, we should have created a good enough set of innovators and early-stage adopters to advocate our brand to others within their circle and at the same time, we should have created enough of intimacy with customers to have them buy from us more frequently.
Once the brand has been established this cycle can be repeated with more engaging content and better strategies. We have implemented this for our clients and have seen tremendous results.
Content is the key driver at every step of the aforesaid strategy, and custom content needs to be created to drive conversations accordingly.
The real medicine of Digital Marketing Strategy is not in implementing the above strategy, the real medicine is in actually knowing what content to create when and how to place it effectively for it to make an impact.
I mean at Ting Tong, we have done this effectively for all the brands we work with and have seen tremendous results.
Try this people, make it your intention to be a sincere and honest brand and put your best foot forward, keep at it, pretty soon, you will see measurable results with people lining up to work with you.
Most importantly, have faith and persist.