It’s important as business owners that we not forget the human that lies behind every search query.

Whether they are “window shopping” (comparing services and products) or whether they are ready to buy (“hot leads), that search query should be viewed as a real person, the same way you would view a person walking into your “real world” place of business.

Today, the way consumers interact with technology affects how they search for goods and services online. Staying on top of the latest tech is important to attracting and keeping customers if you want to compete.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need a digital marketing strategy that reaches the right audience and delivers measurable impact. They also need to understand that the audience of 2020 isn’t the same audience of 2010 or even 2019.

Whether your marketing goals are to drive foot traffic to your business, make the phone ring, or sell your products online, this short article should help you stay on top of tech trends and continue to evolve your marketing strategies to reach your ideal customers. If you need details, make our phone ring here at Symphonic by calling +1 888-964-3498. Or if you’re shy, contact us online and I’ll reach out. There’s no “hard sell” and we’re always here to help. 

#1 Engage Emerging Audiences

Women, minorities, millennials, and “Generation Z” are all underserved, yet growing demographics. These consumer segments have more buying power than ever before, and businesses are doomed if they ignore them. 

We’re not talking about “pandering.” We’re talking about inclusivity.

Relevant, personalized messaging means you can stand out in a marketing environment that has ignored these audiences in the past. 

As with many things, change starts at home. In other words, how diverse is your team?

“Brands should actively listen and hire the consumer segments they want to win,” says Levi Olmstead, Director of Marketing at Chicago-based food-tech startup 2ndKitchen. “Building marketing strategies to target these customer segments and demographics will only go so far. Businesses need to bring in these segments to be a part of the strategy creation process.”

What is your business doing to develop new value propositions, marketing strategies, and consumer experiences that satisfy the unique needs of these audiences?

Levi says empathy and understanding begin with data.

“Feedback and qualitative research groups are extremely important here,” he says. “Don’t push messages or ROI-based campaigns to these groups. Bring them in and listen to their problems. Use your marketing reach to support and highlight these groups as opposed to marketing to or at them.”

#2 Study the Consumer Decision Journey

There are many factors that influence a customer’s decision. The consumer decision journey is getting more complex, with more touchpoints and engagements along the way as a customer “kicks the tires” and weighs his or her options.

Understanding your customer’s purchase journey can help you better market to your customers to reach and engage with them along that journey. Understanding who they are and their needs is important; so is meeting them where they are and minimizing barriers to conversion.

“Build targeted user personas,” is Levi’s advice. “Let’s take the example of ‘new brewery owner.’ Conduct research into what keywords are breweries are being searched. Do competitor research on brewery sites. Conduct surveys with brewery owners to see what their pain points are. From there, you can break down one persona into different stages, and craft specific messages and CTAs for each stage.”

#3 Inspire Consumer Loyalty 

Customer retention, as we head into 2020, means understanding that customers expect value beyond your product or service.

Most business owners understand that a bad experience will drive existing customers to their competition. But here’s what most of them don’t get: Most of those customers will be lured away by the promise a better experience.

Have lighting fast and an amazing customer support team,” Levi tells his clients. “Make sure customers know that you’re there in a split second notice to help them with any trouble or pain points they may have. Use all of these experiences to build a knowledge base for a front-facing FAQ section that users can search for their problems.”

You’ve got to “wow” your customer base by consistently improving customer service. On-demand interactions and seamless transactions (thanks in part to offerings like AI chat) are becoming the standard. 

#4 Personalize the Sales Experience

You may think your company offers a “unique” product, service or experience. But what you really need to offer is a “customer-centric” experience.

Today’s consumers expect hyper-relevant, personalized service. How can you engage them and win them over? 

Personalization demonstrates that we recognize that the people we’re marketing to, selling to, and connecting with have names, families, and their own stories to tell.

For example, you could create targeted email campaigns based on recent purchasing histories. This targeting strategy can earn repeat purchases and increase brand loyalty by demonstrating that you remember them and want to continue to help them out.

What Else?

It is incredibly important to stay up-to-date on trends that are reshaping the expectations of your customers. Customer-centric marketing strategies can help you engage with your target audience and succeed in the digital landscape.

Take action today with your PPC campaigns, SEO, email marketing and more. You can raise your business profile online and deliver what your market wants. If you need strategies to do this that are tailored to your business and your goals, contact Symphonic today and we’ll give you a free consultation on how you can engage with customers online in your specific industry.