The way we communicate with each other has changed. Digital marketing and social media has transformed our world, the way we gather information and how we engage with each other. Because of this, businesses have had to reevaluate the way they communicate and market to their customers.
Millennials are a huge driving force behind this shift. Unlike the generation before them, millennials are more engaged with brands and are more likely to post product reviews, share links about products, and follow brands on Twitter (and other social platforms). Compared to the generation before them, this is a 150% to 250% increase in brand engagement.
Because of the changes we’re seeing in how brands do business, now is the time—if you’re not doing it already—to stand out from your competitors and find ways to connect and build strong relationships with your customers. Millennials are looking for brands that deliver authentic and high quality experiences to them each time they engage.
So, where do brands even begin?
- Understand your customers. If you don’t know your customers, and why they’re buying your product or service, you’re missing out on building lasting relationships, interacting with your customer base in a meaningful way, and reaching new potential customers. No longer can brands afford to only focus on how customers feel about their product, brands must also know why they feel that way. As you identify the why, what is it about your company that keeps bringing them back, and how can you leverage that knowledge to improve your brand.
Take time to gather feedback, track customer spending habits, and engage with them through social media and reviews. Many companies ignore the reviews, especially the negative ones, but by doing that you’re missing out on identifying the problem and providing a solution. Through being more engaged, the better you’ll understand your loyal customer base, and the greater ROI you’ll see in the long run for both your customer and your brand.
- Incorporate empathy in your campaign. Empathy is a hot topic right now for helping brands connect and build strong relationships with their customers. Our world is constant chatter. No matter where you turn, we’re inundated with information, ads, and posts about something or someone. Because of the constant chatter, successful businesses are finding ways, through empathy, to connect and build those authentic relationships millennials are seeking.
Before your next campaign—you should really start now—brainstorm ways with your team and managers on ways you can bring more empathy to your marketing. Through identifying specific triggers about your customers, the more proactive you can be in meeting their needs and building those relationships, which brings them back to your brand and boosts customer referrals and brand advocacy.
- Develop your company culture and thrive. Your employee’s are the face of your brand. They are the ones your customers are interacting with on a daily basis. Because of this, investing in your people is important for building those customer relationships and ensuring you’re not missing out on untapped potential.
Provide the necessary training, tools, and resources your employees need to ensure your customer’s are given exceptional service when they walk into your store or interact with your brand. Take this time to also meet with your employees and gather their insights and suggestions on how to make the customer experience better. The more you pull them in and listen to what they have to say, along with your customers feedback, the better you’ll be able to improve and strengthen your company.
In today’s world, successful companies are turning to new ways to engage and build authentic connections with their customers. The more you can identify with the needs (and the why) of your customers, empower your employees, and seek to empathize, the better you’ll be able to create a stronger overall experience for your customers.
The important takeaway is that people want a place to connect and feel they are valued. Develop and foster those relationships and build those connections, which will bring customers back to your brand. By investing in your customers’, in your people, and in your brand, you’ll not only turn potential customers into loyal brand advocates, but you’ll see a greater ROI in how customers interact with your company and your bottom line as well.