Chasing Vs. Nurturing Customers
You’re about to join a group of friends and family for 3-hours of watching that largest single-viewing event of the year. It’s both a sports contest and an advertising event. The brands and ad agencies taking part have been strategizing for months, betting they’ll capture your most precious asset: your attention.
Times have changed since the days of Mad Men when mediocre products (or harmful ones like cigarettes) could be unwittingly (and psychologically) rammed down the throats of unsuspecting consumers. Advertising now is primarily a data-driven and media-mix game that stalks us through every minute watched and each online click.
According to Statistia, Budweiser spent 470.5 million in ads bought alone from 1967-2021 during the Super Bowl. It’s the big game’s biggest advertiser, and you can bet the Clydesdales are likely to appear. Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Doritos aren’t far behind.
During the Super Bowl, there are approximately 50 minutes of ad time. Counting the $7 million+ cost for a 30-second spot, agency fees, production costs, talent fees, and music rights, it’s roughly $1 billion enterprise for one Sunday night in February. No doubt, the Super Bowl is the single biggest viewer audience event of the broadcast year. Mostly spent chasing customers.
Beyond this single event, we tend to ignore ads or try to block them (digitally or mentally) almost entirely. As conventional ads became less and less effective, businesses turned to digital and social platforms to promote their products. In the early days of digital, eyeballs and clicks were the currency of ad spending.
But clicks don’t promise customers, let alone loyalty. Advertising cyberstalking acts as a proxy (or hack) for earning customer trust.
Knowing this doesn’t prevent brands from spending most of their resources chasing prospects; we invest comparatively little to convert or nurture them. In a study by Econsultancy, for every $92 we spend on awareness of our brand, products, or services, we spend a mere $1 on converting them to customers. Even less money is spent on nurturing customers.
Instead of chasing customers, get busy listening to and attracting them.
Some brands use their advertising dollars to attract customers through stories that speak to their values. These innovative brands weave meaningful storytelling into their ads. Stories like this express the brand’s values, which they hope align with yours. This value alignment between the brand and the customer creates empathy.
When we can empathize with the brand story in an ad or elsewhere, a relationship begins. And, when a relationship between a brand and prospects happens, brands can listen to their customers and invite them into their offering. This builds the social and emotional currency all businesses trade in: trust.
Here are three ways your brand can create customer relationships without chasing them:
- Engage with values-based storytelling. Tell people (#1) a meaningful and values-filled story (#2) that reinforces the value of your products. Simply said, say, “what’s in it for them.”
- Empathize with your customer wants and needs. As the adage goes: People don’t care about what you know until they know that you care. When you let people know you care about them and their needs through the types of stories you tell and how you treat them when they engage with you, you’re more likely to win them over as a customer.
- Nurture them when they buy from you. Now that you’ve won a customer’s trust be sure you care for them in a way that reminds them that they are essential to your company. Post-purchase can look like gratitude because it is. Instead of sending them a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey right after purchase, send them a thank you message.
It’s worth a reminder that Word-of-Mouth marketing is the most trusted form of marketing. Here are some data:
- 70% of people trust consumer reviews online. [HubSpot]
- 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy Cannes]
- 72% of people get news from friends and family, making word-of-mouth the most popular channel for sharing. [Pew Research Center]
- According to a Nielsen report, 92% of people trust word-of-mouth or referrals from those they know above all other advertising.
We trust in our relationships when people know you care. We tend to trust people and brands where values align and empathy is in place. We do things we see others doing because it’s safe. We always have and always will.
If you want a more trusting team, a culture of belonging or a magnetic brand that attracts more of the right customers, I can help. If you'd like to explore if working together makes sense, drop me a line.