Whether in brick-and-mortar retail or e-commerce, customers are at the heart of all marketing efforts. The challenge: consumers are more critical these days than ever before. A big brand name a...
Whether in brick-and-mortar retail or e-commerce, customers are at the heart of all marketing efforts. The challenge: consumers are more critical these days than ever before. A big brand name and explicit advertising messages are therefore not enough to retain customers in the long term. Instead, values such as transparency, trust, and authenticity as well as the quality of the customer experience determine whether a company will succeed or fail when addressing its customers.
Creating personas in marketing
But who exactly are the consumers? To develop a promising product and marketing strategy, you first need to define the target group you want to reach. A strategy that just randomly targets vast parts of the population will be anything but effective. Instead, you should precisely sketch out the customers you want to reach in order to subsequently tailor your communication to them in the next step. The best way to do this is to develop personas. These user models allow you to identify early on what consumers may actually be interested in the product and who would benefit most from it. Demographic factors can be used to develop such personas, but psychographic targeting is also becoming increasingly relevant. This method lets you ascertain the individual motivations behind consumers’ actions and purchases even more precisely in order to reach new target groups in exactly the right way.
Why customer centricity is key nowadays
Consumers today can freely choose from an endless range of offerings. As a result, brands that want to stand out from the crowd must combine their products and services with a genuine value proposition – and also be able to deliver on it. In line with the customer-centric approach, marketers should always ask themselves how their product benefits customers, how it improves their lives, and what problems it solves for them. A customer-centric marketing strategy is essentially about communicating and arguing from the customer’s perspective.
Consumers: it’s all about building trusting relationships
However, in times of globalization, the climate crisis, and other issues, consumers are not just concerned about the personal benefits of a particular product. More wide-ranging aspects, such as a brand’s social responsibility and sustainable image, also play a crucial role in their purchasing decisions. Besides the design and functionality of a product, many consumers are thus increasingly shifting their focus toward intangible values. In particular, companies that want to reach the young consumers of Generation Z now have to offer added value on a social, personal, or environmental level and be able to credibly convey this. Trust cannot be established through mere advertising slogans. Instead, companies should make transparency a priority in their brand building and use new communication channels to communicate with their customers at eye level and give them the opportunity to provide feedback.
Create unique customer experiences and gain new target groups
In light of the constant availability of a vast array of options, customers’ expectations of products and shopping scenarios are also increasing: they no longer want to simply consume, they want an experience. Offering a unique customer experience to prospective buyers is an effective way for companies to stand out from the competition. Whether direct-to-consumer strategies or the creation of personalized shopping experiences: there is a clear trend toward addressing customers more directly and personally. From adapting relevant content to the personal needs of the specific consumer by means of AI to the use of chatbots, online retailers in particular have a multitude of options for optimizing the user experience and attracting new customers to their products and services.
A good customer experience is also a prerequisite for increasing customer engagement and thereby ideally turning consumers into active customers who act as brand ambassadors on social media and review platforms. This approach will let you lay the foundations for long-lasting customer satisfaction based on trusting customer relationships, transparent communication, and an impressive customer experience.
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