What is Separating You from Current and Potential Customers?

Marketing CoPilot - Find Customers, Keep CustomersIn 2011, the digital landscape significantly shifted but most business owners were merely voyeurs on the sidelines watching the disruption shake out. We have said this before at Marketing CoPilot and we’ll say it again: it’s not about the technology! It’s about engaging people in a variety of relevant conversations. Few business owners are asking the right questions and trying to figure this out.

“What the social media gurus aren’t telling you is that the landscape for business isn’t changing because of social media, it’s changing because consumer expectations are evolving.” Brian Solis Blog Post

So what is separating you from current and potential customers?

ENGAGEMENT

Plain and simple. Your website, your email campaigns, what you post in social media is still viewed as a way to broadcast. Business owners need to spend 2012 focused on how to engage. This means looking at a whole new set of metrics.

Old Model

  • I push out something (phone call, direct mail, email blast, online advertising).
  • I base my success on the numbers of people I reached and the percentage of people who responded and bought something from me within four to six weeks of the campaign or gave me their contact information.

Why this model is flawed…
It completely ignores finding out what people really think or care about if their immediate next step is not to buy. Maybe they have someone they will refer you to or maybe they are in education mode or maybe they just don’t want to speak with you yet.
What other metrics are you tracking to find out how engaged they are in wanting to be part of your business community?

New Model

  • Design a content marketing strategy and schedule based on content that matters to your current and potential customers. Do your homework here. Map the buying process and understand value from the customer’s perspective. If you are pushing out product information, don’t bother doing it.
  • Send out content on a consistent basis (you need 10 to 12 sends before you can see a pattern) in various mediums: dynamic content on the website, email, social media, posting on other sites, encourage partners to repost, etc
  • Document:
    • Click through rates
    • Time on site to read content
    • Action taken after reading it
    • Whether it was forwarded
    • Whether people talked about you on twitter, etc
    • Whether anyone commented or reposted your content

These are the new metric that matter. If you start to record these things in your business, interesting things will happen:

  1. You will start to understand if the conversation you are having in the marketplace is relevant and if anyone cares.
  2. You will see where people drop off in the conversation based on the stats you are collecting.
  3. You will see if you have said anything interesting enough for people to respond and engage with you.
  4. You keep people either in the circle or they unsubscribe which is powerful information to know if your content and the conversation you are sharing online is not interesting enough to keep people engaged.

Think about it: when was the last time you responded positively to someone who called, emailed or met you at an event and said, “I have something to sell you. Do you want to buy it?”
Engagement takes time, it takes effort and it means continuous testing and retesting. No wonder business owners have stood on the sidelines of digital strategies. The level of effort to change the way they do things is overwhelming. It so much easier to ask a sales question and get a yes or no. But for customers, this is not good enough anymore. They want to be courted and educated before the commit.

You need engagement.

In 2012, Marketing CoPilot is going to be on the forefront of proving that what stands between you and your current and potential customers, is engagement. We are currently tracking these metrics for our clients and we are going to bring you a report this spring that proves the attainment of engagement versus broadcasting will pay off five times more effectively for your business.
If you would like to book a call with a member of the Marketing CoPilot team to discuss ideas on improving your customer engagement, please email marie@marketingcopilot.com.

Marketing CoPilot