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Confessions From Your Customer-Yes Yours

(Posted on May 22, 2014 at 11:42AM )

I have a confession to make. I abandon things. Online shopping carts, brands, stores, emails, entire email 
addresses. In a way, I am the consumer marketer’s worst nightmare. Not only do I abandon brands and companies, I also abandon my loyalties — even when I honestly prefer one brand over another. I use for groceries, and Amazon Prime for pretty much anything else, but in a pinch, I’ll just as easily use Instacart or Taskrabbit or Craigslist.

Wait, what was I saying? My Droid just alerted me of a new message from Facebook, and another tone just signaled to me on my phone and laptop (simultaneously) that I had a new work email, and now I can’t remember what I was saying to you…

The World is Getting Noisier

My point is that noise – whether it’s your competitor, or one of your audience’s many devices – is louder than ever these days. Brands push tons of information across channels, without any care to making the information relevant, and the net result is predictable: people tune out.

For example, every Saturday at 9am I get a coupon from a well-known large retail everything chain, highlighting their line of children’s clothing. I have no children, and have never bought children’s clothes from them before – I’m simply being batch and blasted. When I turn on the TV, drive down the street, lift the lid of my laptop, there is noise. So I know that I’m not the only one abandoning brands left and right – consumers all over are tuning out.

Your audience is drowned by an influx of messaging every single day. The average customer is exposed to at least 2,904 media messages. They will pay attention to 52 of those messages, and will positively remember only four of them.

So how will you make the final cut?

Conversations: The Abandonment Cure

Five years ago, I read every email that I received in my personal email. Gone are those days! Here’s what I listen to now: Social (what are my friends saying, what is hot, what do I trust?); text messages from friends and family; and conversations.

Conversations, you say? Yes, conversations. Meaningful, two-way dialogue with friends, family, and yes, brands. Whether they capture my attention in email, or through text, or on social, if the message is relevant to me (based on my persona, activity, and history) I’m most likely to pay attention. Gone are the days when “batch and blast email” programs actually worked. If I don’t feel that the brands emailing me understand my interests, I’m out.

And I’m not the only one. Consider me the representative of all of your customers. Creating these kinds of conversations is the only way marketers can get my attention, and it’s the only way you’ll get the attention of yours. The consumer marketer has to pay attention to me and my attributes, or I will abandon ship. (This actually applies to B2B marketers also – after all, the decision-makers at companies are individuals, too.)

Do you, as a consumer marketer, have visibility into your consumer’s needs? If you’re looking to create relevant conversations, here are some boxes you might want to check:

If your company has abandonment issues, create the kinds of conversations that will keep them around…Oh wait, something just pinged me. What was I saying?

By: Letty Ernst