After all the marketing and communications planning and implementation, you have to wait and hope that a prospective or exiting customer makes the decision to engage.
You might want to use a cattle prod to get them to pick up the phone or make an online purchase or reply to your latest personalised direct mail – but sadly it is their choice.
Choice is one of the many obstacles.
Desire, immediate need, appreciation of your product or services benefits, even the time of the day all make up the background noise that gets in the way of engagement.
So, what to do?
Here are 5 things to consider. I call it the WATER approach.
Water is the key essential to life – try not watering your garden in the summer and see what happens.
Wait – Advocacy – Targeting – Engage – Repeat
Your marketing communications plan should be seen as a continuous activity – not a one-off series of events to support business development.
You must Wait for the blooms to develop. It’s never a quick fix. Marketing activity can in B2C be fast moving, but you still have to be realistic about timing.
Advocacy is so important. It’s more than recommendation. It builds brand faster than many other activities. The amount of investment you make to find a new customer should also be reflected in the investment you make in making them all become advocates for your products or services.
There is very little excuse for blanket broadcast marcomms. Targeting is so much more than getting the right person, think about timing, the wider environmental situation, and key individuals who may influence the people you need to engage with.
The hardest one of the WATERING process is Engage. Try doing something radical and pick up the phone and see if the target of your business affection has seen any of your marketing and would they like some additional information, or could you include them on your database. Invest in positively trying to engage with just 10% of our target audience and at least 30% of your new and existing customers on a regular basis.
And finally. Don’t stop with just the one campaign. Marketing communications is a Repeat activity. Make sure you have a clear and consistent message that is flexible enough to encompass all your business activity and keep going on about it.