clients

Humanizing Your Brand

emotional brandingIn the last 10 years, we’ve seen a trend in the marketing and advertising world of companies humanizing their brands and looking to develop a stronger, more sincere connection with a consumer. This emotional connection is strategic, meant to secure a long lasting, loyal relationship with a customer.

It is estimated that the average consumer is exposed to over 5000 ads each day. It is no wonder marketers are looking to find a more strategic way to reach their audiences, and reel them in for the long run.

So how exactly can you humanize your brand and set yourself apart from your competitors? I’ve outlined a few tips below:

  1. Establish an emotional connection
    • Consumers respond to content that is personal and meaningful to them, so once you’re able to zero in on what that is, you can target them effectively. Showing that your brand is associated with a passion or cause will help shed a positive light on you in the eyes of the consumer.
  2. Show that you’re listening with action
    • The best way to earn the respect and trust of your consumers is to value their opinions and feedback, and respond with action. A consumer feels an immediate connection to you when they feel like their voice has been heard.
  3. Prioritize the relationship
    • While it may be difficult, the relationships with your consumers have to be put ahead of your bottom line. You need to trust that the relationships you develop with your consumers based on trust and respect will be a lasting source of conversions.
  4. Follow through
    • Understand that when you humanize your brand, you’re making a commitment to your consumers to care about the passion and emotion you’re bringing into the mix. They’re engaging with you as a result of you caring about something, and that means you must always follow through on what you’re portraying.

While the benefits of humanizing your brand can be fruitful, it is also a large commitment. It is not simply a band-aid solution to marketing woes, it is a redefinition of your brand and what you stand for, and something you need to consistently deliver on once in place.

What are your thoughts on creating emotional connections with your customers to increase engagement with your brand? Let’s discuss…

Customer Service: the Milk and Cookies of Marketing

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Despite the fact that marketing and customer service are usually separate departments, I find that, like milk and cookies, the two are always better together.

When we traditionally think about marketing, we think about strategy, our messaging, our unique brand identity and how to attract new clients. It is fair to say that marketing tactics, therefore, are often focused on attracting the attention of potential clients.  With an increase in a global economy and growth in competition, many companies have discovered that client retention costs less than client acquisition.  Quite simply, the value of loyal clients is that they buy more, buy frequently, are cheaper to serve, have higher retention rates and are more profitable than newly acquired clients.

Ideally then, we all want more loyal clients and the only way to do this is to make sure we treat our existing clients very well.

So in addition to thinking up clever advertising and direct mail pieces, we need to “walk the talk” of good customer service, ensuring that every staff member, especially the ones that deal directly with the clients, provide superior customer service. Your staff should know who the client is, where they are in the buying cycle, what opportunities they might want to be involved in and how your business can help them achieve their goals. You have to be able to align yourself with the values of your client and make decisions in the interest of their company.

By ensuring your staff provides consistent customer service at every touch point with the client (including online marketing), your client will come to trust you and therefore, continue to come to you to help them.

Let’s face it- all companies care about their clients, but the companies that keep them happy are the ones that prosper! A happy client is a repeat client.

Where have you seen quality customer service make a difference with a client? How do you employ good customer service tactics? I look forward to your thoughts below!

Turning Leads Into Clients

Last week’s blog focused on the disparity between implementing a marketing strategy and expecting immediate leads without the solid integration of your sales force.

Once your integrated marketing and sales strategy is generating leads (always easier said than done, of course) how do you convert these leads into clients? The following infographic shows the attention placed on following-up with a strong lead.

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After many years of taking on new clients for my company, I’ve found that individuals often make their decision to give their business to companies that show the most care and genuine interest in helping their business achieve the next level of success. Set yourself apart with concerted lead follow-up that demonstrates the level of commitment you will provide them when they agree to sign on with you.

How have you turned a lead into a client? Has thorough follow-up with phone calls, emails and even face-to-face conversations helped you land a client? I look forward to your insights!

Two Special Words

With New Years Eve upon us, I’m looking forward to singing Auld Lang Syne, the traditional song that is now sung all around the world to ring in each New Year.  For me, the lyrics have always signified recognition of, and gratefulness for, our long-standing friendships.

Writing this last blog for 2012 got me thinking not only about my personal relationships, but also about others who are near and dear to me – namely, my clients.  I own Creativeworks, a marketing agency offering strategic marketing advice, development, implementation and measurement to SMBs.  In developing strategies, I spend quite a bit of time getting to know and understand not only my clients’ business, but very often the business owner as well. 

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Once we implement the strategy, we work with our clients, sometimes on a rather constant basis. As such, I have a number of thank-you messages for my clients, with whom I have built and fostered long-term relationships. Without you, my agency would not exist. 

  1. Thank you for continuing to be open to my innovative ideas, and letting me push the marketing envelope to help you obtain your goals.
  2. Thank you for calling me whenever you want to brainstorm your way through an idea. I appreciate that you value my opinion, and trust that I will develop solutions on which to act.
  3. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to help you better understand the nuances of your marketing, e.g. why social media works, and why your printer should not design your logo.
  4. Thank you for working with me on fostering our relationship.
  5. Thank you for continuously allowing me to bring you the latest industry trends and insights to your attention, so that we might implement them for your business.
  6. Thank you for letting us work hard for you every day.
  7. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate and share in your successes that have been realized through the work we have done together.

To those of you reading this blog who are not my clients, I thank you for reading my blog. In 2013, I will continue to bring you hands-on, thought-provoking insights based on my personal experiences as an owner of a Toronto marketing agency. To all, a happy new year!

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to write about in 2013. Do you have any other marketing or related questions for me?  Please share your questions and comments below.