Understanding your consumers' needs and wants has become essential to ensure your company is future-proof. Listening empowers you to learn from and talk to your customers and potential customers, in order to create ever-improving experiences.
Mykidstime Ltd has developed a new approach to integrate insights with marketing. This came about because over the years as we have been working with brands and businesses we noticed a few disconnects along the way.
Based on our experience, here are some pitfalls to avoid and also some tips to help optimise your marketing to consumers.
Here are 6 common pitfalls we encounter regularly:
1. Only doing market research at time of product launch
“We want to launch a product so we’ll do a focus group”. That’s great, you pay for a focus group to look at your planned product but then that’s the end of the talking to consumers. Rolling out a new product is a journey and you should be sense-checking with consumers along that whole journey from NPD to market launch to scaling in the market.
2. Siloing the different marketing and communications tasks
Often brands and businesses use different outsourced agencies to help with different communications and marketing tasks, so you might have a PR company, a creative company, a media buying agency. We see communication coming in from those different sources and there’s often a big disconnect in brand voice.
3. Narrow focus on display ads
Digital marketing campaigns are still focused on banner ads. But that’s not where consumers are looking or connecting with brands. When was the last time you yourself clicked on an ad on a website? Bob Hoffman, legendary US advertising and marketing author, says that you are more likely to complete Navy Seal training than you are to click on a banner ad!
So what is going to build trust with consumers? A pop up ad that they will probably click out of or an ongoing communication with them across your channels?
4. Not sense checking creative and communications
If you’re putting together images, text, video to use for your marketing that you’re then going to use for all your marketing campaign channels, are you showing those to consumers before you spend on the campaign? Sense checking with your target audience that what you have put together is going to resonate with them is the easiest way to ensure you get good results from the campaign.
5. Not looking at cost per acquisition or customer lifetime value
Many businesses think of return on campaign spend, not in terms of cost per acquisition and customer lifetime value. Yes a single campaign may not return on its spend but if the customers you acquired at a reasonable cost stay with you across a lifetime what is that ROI calculation?
6. Talking to only your own customers/fans
Your email list, your social media fans and followers are invaluable for checking in with and asking their opinion but remember they are already invested in your brand, you’re not hearing from the people who don’t use your brand.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve your marketing success:
Use insight to inform your marketing and brand communications.
It’s not just important to get insight and feedback about your brand and how it’s perceived but also at all stages of your communications. You need to understand the why as well as what people think. Many companies undertake online surveys which might tell them that e.g. 80% of people prefer this packaging to that packaging but they don’t know why.
It can be costly to get research done but it can also be costly to launch products that fail, spend on marketing that doesn’t activate consumers or lose consumers because your product or service no longer resonates with them.
Getting ongoing feedback is going to make your brand and marketing even more solid as it is grounded in the consumer. And will make consumers feel valued that you are asking about what matters to them.
Test and learn across all your communication channels
Begin with one channel or area that you want to test so you can more easily see what is and isn’t yielding results. Talk to consumers who use those channels and get them to critique how you are communicating - is it resonating? Would they take action? What would make them more likely to click?
Once you are satisfied with that channel, move onto the next. Remember to keep testing with and talking to consumers to continually improve.
Talk to non-consumers of your product
Testing with your current consumers is important, but they know your offerings. Converting new consumers is more difficult. Understanding what drives buying behavior and gaining insights from those who are not already invested in what you offer can help increase market share and revenues.
Build in insights on an ongoing basis
Keeping the conversation going builds trust. Asking for and acting on insights received shows consumers you care about them and value what they have to say. They become more vested in your brand and more likely to recommend you and your products or services to other consumers.
Marketing to parent consumers in a better way is what we are passionate about. We connect brands to parents. Since we founded MyKidsTime in 2007, we have worked with hundreds of organisations to help them connect with, build trust with and activate parent consumers.
We have built a private platform and service called ParentsandBrands to gather in depth feedback from parents through tailored panels. Launched last year, this is delivering a new and unique hybrid approach of digital marketing backed by in-depth insights from our very engaged community.