Are You Marketing for Your Customers ... or Yourself?
Marketing is about getting the attention of your customers, but are you sure you know the best way to do that?
A recent survey shows a disconnect between what consumers want and what marketers do. For its Consumer Purchase Preference Survey, MarketingSherpa conducted two surveys—one of consumers and one of marketers—and compared the results.
What Customers Want
Asked how they wanted to receive regular updates and promotions from companies they were interested in doing business with, 60% of customers chose email, and 49% of customers wanted to receive information via email at a frequency they chose.
Social media was greeted by a collective “meh” by consumers, with a mere 20% of consumers favoring social for receiving news and promotions.
Customers’ third-most preferred way of receiving updates and offers was by checking the website on their own, with no direct communication from the company (38%).
What Marketers Do
Though almost half of consumers wanted to be able to choose how often they receive emails, only 14% of marketers offered that option. Marketers overwhelmingly favored sending emails at a predetermined frequency (76%), while the lack of choice in that option made it less popular with consumers (24%).
Marketers were much more interested in marketing via social media than consumers. Despite lackluster interest from consumers, social media was favored by 77% of marketers—the top choice.
And even though consumers wanted to be able to check a company's website without receiving direct communication, only 8% of marketers were willing to post information on their website and hope their customers would find it.
So how do you find out how your customers prefer to be contacted?
- Use audience personas. Researching and creating detailed personas, covering not just demographics but also psychographics (personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles) will help you understand what types of marketing will be most well-received by your customers.
- Experience the buyer’s journey yourself. Start at the beginning research phase and do everything your average customer would do. Does the marketing you receive as a customer feel on point or does it miss the mark?
- Mine the data. Check your channels to see which is having the best results with leads and conversions. Take resources from less successful methods and put them toward the channels that are performing well.
- Monitor your support lines. Are your client-facing team members getting complaints about marketing or requests for information they haven’t received? Use that input to tailor your marketing efforts.
- Follow up. Getting a lot of email unsubscribes? Use your unsubscribe form to ask why, covering frequency, content, and anything else that might be relevant.
- Ask them! As part of the purchase process, or using a survey, ask new customers how (and whether) they’d like to receive information from you in the future.