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Communication Coach: Why customers expect brave marketing

February 28, 2018 -  By

Your best customers are more than customers. They are advocates that want to see your business reach new heights because when you, win they win, too. Don’t make the rookie mistake of giving them bland marketing and then hoping and praying they will respond.

You have to be brave, so you can engage them.

Take a stand and give customers marketing that is big and inspiring so they can rally around it. That’s what gets the phone ringing. If your marketing gets people to take a single action that is right for them, it has done its job.

Now keep going. You are closing the gaps in their journey with your business, one at a time, by guiding that experience.

One of my residential landscape customers once asked me a question immediately after we had completed a substantial upgrade, “What’s next, Jeff?” I wasn’t quite sure what he was getting at, but I soon learned he was encouraging me to raise the bar, to be brave.

He challenged me to always be thinking about how to keep his landscape one of the best in the neighborhood. It was a massive lesson about not merely keeping in touch with customers, but actively engaging them with our business.

This is why it’s necessary to move beyond email, mobile and messenger apps to have more human interactions, because that’s where the meaningful exchanges occur. Technology plays a vital role of sparking those events, but you have to add that human element for profitable outcomes to happen.

Facebook signals a shift to meaningful interactions

In the previous Communication Coach blog post, I talked about engaging with your customers and communities to add to the conversation around your brand. It turns out the recent Facebook News Feed update is not only signaling how that works on Facebook but also on every other platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that you can forget about chasing likes and followers because the ship has sailed on practicing social media like its 2008. Engaging comments that add value to the social narrative is now the measure of social media success.

Embedded within each Facebook comment is another piece of the customer experience—what it’s like to work with your business. The same is true of all of your customer communications. You have to get people involved in the conversation because if you can’t get them talking, you won’t get them doing anything that furthers their buyer’s journey.

The question my customer asked me is one that I now pose to you: What’s next? My suggestion is to start benchmarking your marketing by how well it engages customers and not so much by how pretty it is. Does it sufficiently inspire them to have meaningful conversations with you about transforming their outdoor environments?

Most companies are afraid to take risks with their marketing, choosing instead to appeal to the greatest possible audience. It turns out, putting unremarkable marketing out there is actually the biggest risk because it lacks conviction and everyone knows it.

Put a stake in the ground with marketing that clearly states what makes your brand worthy of attention. Make marketing that shows your customers you know who they are and what they want and that you are capable of making greatness happen for them.

As comedian Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” That defines the brave marketing that customers expect in return for their commitment to your brand.

Photo: pexels.com/ Kaboompics / karolina

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Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social and founder of Landscape Digital Institute. He helps green industry owners, marketers and sales teams craft and communicate branded customer experiences that sell. Learn more at www.landscapedigitalinstitute.com

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