Writer: Joshua Andino
2 min read April 2022 — As companies continually need to compete for the hearts and minds of their customers, it is critical for businesses to find ways to stand out in an increasingly congested world. An effective marketing strategy can make the difference.
To many business owners today, marketing amounts to buying ads on social media or Google, and doing their best to track returns. The reality is that businesses must develop a coherent, focused marketing strategy centered on their audience, developing a brand that connects with them on a human level.
“As humans, we buy from brands for five different reasons, and they are all rooted in human connection,” Rich Cannava, CEO of creative agency Overskies, told Invest:.
Identity, value, experience, community and need are why people buy from a brand, per Cannava. Brands that capitalize on these aspects of their audience’s preferences are more likely to stand out. While data, analytics and AI-based tools may aid in an effective campaign, the fundamental message conveyed to audiences must be rooted in the human experience.
“Data and analytics are only part of the equation. More and more we are seeing brands become overly reliant on data to inform their decisions. It can become addictive, as companies believe more and more that they have a holistic view of their customer. However, we have found that there is no substitute for having human conversations. Finding ways to survey and interview your customers throughout the buying process, as well as during their on-going interactions with a brand is imperative to understand more fully how they are experiencing a brand during both digital and physical experiences. The combination of fully understanding the human experience and your customer’s attitudes, along with data review, tell a much more complete story.”
People want to make sure that who they conduct their business with aligns with who they are as individuals. They vote with their wallets and pay attention to not just the story a business tells in its marketing but the work and values behind the business. Patrons want to know that the businesses they support are also supporting causes they care about or believe in. According to Hubspot’s Annual State of Marketing Report, for example, consumers are four times more loyal to eco-friendly businesses, while their top frustration is inconsistent brand messaging.
On a macroeconomic level, the growing focus on ESG by investors is one example of this trend. “Consumers, especially younger millennials and Gen-Z, want to understand brands more holistically. They want to understand their overall mission and purpose before they make a purchase decision. So when it comes to marketing, this is the opportunity for brands to communicate what their mission and purpose is,” Cannava said.
Connection through marketing is the only way for brands to remain competitive. While a number of businesses look to leverage AI and data to have a more complete profile of what their consumers may want or how they look to shop, the continuous automation of marketing can cause businesses to degrade their brand voice. No one will deny that the world today is media saturated. To stand out and compete in the current environment, storytelling on a human level is what differentiates a business and generates loyal customers.
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