August 10, 2010 Leave a Comment
Throughout our series, we have mentioned the importance of gaining information from key demographics. Today, as we offer our final tip on marketing during a recession, we will discuss how to utilize that information through messaging in two segments: Creative and Customized.
Generating creative ideas isn’t easy. If it were, companies like us wouldn’t exist to provide this blog and other business-building services to you. However, when you take out the word “creative”, you are left with the concept of “generating ideas” which is something that is basic human nature.
Everyday, all of us have thoughts, notions and insights stemming from the environment around us. As a part of any business, by simply observing your surroundings on a day-to-day basis, you have nearly unparalleled primary knowledge that provides you with a level of expertise that allows you to generate ideas. Are all of them good, or even logical? Of course not. However, any idea can potentially be a trigger to something bigger and better.
The question becomes how to focus your abilities to consistently generate ideas that do lead to something creative and influential. Different methods work for different people, but something that can never hurt is to put effort into research. As we have mentioned before, by using data and analysis of your target demographic, whether it be charts, graphs, dedicated landing pages or case studies, you will at least be provided with information to develop the start of something that, with some guidance from creative experts, could lead to an effective messaging strategy.
Think about your circle of friends. Are there any two that you have exactly the same relationship with? Some relationships may be similar, but most people tweak conversations based on similar interests, common acquaintances, current events, etc. In essence what you do when you talk to your friends is you customize your responses and actions to fit the relationship you have with them.
This is the same philosophy you should have when crafting messages for clients.
A huge mistake of B2B or B2C companies is that they often times treat similar customers – or customers in similar industries – the same. They give them the same marketing spiel and customer service treatment. A perfect example of this is those companies that market to seniors as if everyone over 55 have the exact same thoughts, when in truth, seniors can be divided in to several categories. That kind of marketing isn’t smart at peak times, but can be particularly damaging in a recession.
Your customers want to know that you are serious and dedicated about helping them improve their business. They want to know that they you aren’t planning on implementing a cookie-cutter approach (even if in the end, that is what they want). One of the best ways to demonstrate this is by employing as much customer specific data as possible. When your clients and potential clients realize that you have dedicated research on their target markets, your ability to convince them that your messaging ideas are on point will be greatly advanced.
However, this is not all there is. Once you develop a customized strategy for a prospective, you have to keep in mind that once they become a client, their situation will shift in relation to you. Similarly, when a client undergoes a significant change in their business (i.e. merges with another company, goes global, enters a new market, etc.), you need to shift how you treat them and tailor your customer service and indeed all your interactions with them to fit.
What it all comes down to is that using research and analytics can help you craft creative and customized plans for your clients. The idea of tracking and catering to customers like that can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately there are industry leaders who can help you make sense of all the data. Just remember, like any personal acquaintance, your customers are all different and need to be treated differently and with a specific customized purpose. If you can do that you will see your business survive and even thrive no matter the economic times.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.