01 Mar Customer Focused | Long-term Growth: From Inspiration to Advertising
When is the last time you heard a radio advertisement or viewed a television commercial with a call-to-action that you can “find it in your grocer’s aisles?” Today it’s more likely your customers will see if it’s on Amazon first and if found, possibly buy it from them – ONLINE and with potentially FREE DELIVERY! Wait – online! Yes your customer has changed! But you knew that!
If you find long-term growth or staying in business attractive, then you must adapt and change. In business you change, adapt, innovate or die. Customer focused is synonymous to long-term growth today.
3 Customer-Focused Strategies for Long-term Growth Today
- Change. Adaptation. Innovation.
- Customer Focus, Values & Priorities
- Reach and engage your customers in Advertising
Change. Adaptation. Innovation.
All of these should be familiar; after all you’re in business! Change is constant. You’ve adapted to the changes that have taken hold in our industry. You have innovated – new products, new signature items, new ___ (you fill in the blank)! You have always talked to your customers via advertising – tv, radio and print – as your mainstays.
But wait – there is another change to be made. One that means you must adapt to and embrace Internet marketing as the key piece in your advertising.
Inspiration. Look to your customers for inspiration for your next innovation. A loyal customer with whom you have a strong relationship will look to you first for their needs – when you deliver what they need. Are they looking for convenience? Boxed meal delivery could be your next innovation or offering. Are they looking for relevant offers for sales on products they use? Digital advertising is your next technology-related change.
Products & Experiences. Not only are products wholesome and healthy they need to reflect your customers’ values and priorities. Customers today embrace the values and integrity in the companies providing their foods. You must create the ultimate shopping experience for your loyal customers and guests. Be honest with them; grow their confidence in you and the value you provide them. It is essential you understand what your customers need or want and deliver the experience that demonstrates the values and priorities your customers expect.
Talk WITH Your Customers in Advertising
Reach and Engage Them At the Right Time. You may still have customers you easily relate to; you know how to talk with them and what media to use to deliver your message. Have you noticed your customer has changed over the past few years? Are they a little younger maybe? They use technology – ALL THE TIME. They don’t seem to respond to your messages. We see and hear this from retailers, ALL THE TIME. You don’t understand how technology works or how to talk with these customers. It’s scary. It’s change.
We now have 5 generations in the workforce – all of whom are your customers. 3 of those generations born after 1965 – Gen X, Y (Millennial), and Z are technology pros, have different values, want custom experiences, convenience, and want only relevant advertising.
- They watch YouTube or Netflix (or another app) that delivers ‘TV on demand” – on the Internet, not on prime time. Advertising here is known as video pre-roll.
- They listen to Pandora, Sirius, or their own music on their phones, tablets or desktops – on the Internet, not a radio.
- They get their news and learn about hot sales or new products from websites or through social media – on the Internet, not a newspaper or circular. Advertising here is called ‘search, display, or retargeting’ – what does that mean??
- These generations also use multiple devices to perform a single task. For instance, they start a grocery list on their desktop computer and finish it on their phone before they go to a store. The technology savvy impulsively turn to a device using the Internet to learn, do, watch, find or buy something – micro moments. How do you engage with a micro moment?
How do you reach and engage these online customers with relevant advertising?
Welcome to Internet marketing! Digital advertising. It’s not really all that new though. It just feels like it because we were hoping it was a change you hoped would not become a constant so you ignored it. But it did. You may not see it as one of the strategies needed for long-term growth. But it is. Now we MUST adapt and innovate. It also means we hire a professional focused on Internet Marketing and the platforms needed to deliver a quality online experience.
Digital advertising is the key component of your advertising mix. It works because a greater number of your customers are on the Internet. Know your customers. Know the media your customers’ use, when they are using it, what they are doing on it – talk with them. Reaching them on the Internet is not as simple as just advertising on social media or with Adwords. It takes knowing how to reach and deliver your advertising on a large network called the Web. Send a message relevant to your customer – at the right time – and keep them coming back to you and your store.
Internet marketing is complicated but it doesn’t have to be scary for you. It means listening to and engaging with your customers in all of these micro moments for the online customers. It means understanding this is a media that provides us the capability to use data to target a customer more precisely with a message relevant to them. It also is a media that works fantastically with the online media you already own – your website. Do you know how to reach and talk with this segment of your customers on the Internet today? We can help – from strategy to execution.
Being customer-focused is not once and done! Why are retailers slow to adopt or rather, embrace a new or better method of reaching a customer through a media that is here to stay? It’s a mystery to those of us who work in the Internet marketing world. But we know one thing, retail is transforming quickly. If you’re ready for long-term growth, we’re here to talk with you.
We’re focused on Internet marketing and helping retailers like you adapt to digital advertising. We want to help you learn the ropes of the [new] media and guide you through a change to really be customer-focused.