Written By Macala Wright, Chief Change Agent of FashionablyMarketing.Me
June's Edition of Multichannel Merchant featured an amazing piece on listening and talking to your customers
(written by Lois Boyle-Brayfield). In the article, Brayfield states:
Consumers are breaking down the traditional walls of advertising, forcing us to revolutionize the way we talk to them. We are no longer always in control of how they interact or do business with us, as we were in the past. And if you don’t believe this, your brand may be at serious risk. Factors from ecology to economy, as well as technology, are forcing changes in our cultural norm. Attitudes about spending, where consumers seek information and how they spend their time are shifting like sand.
Consumers control how brands and retailers interact with them online; they dictate how they’re going to receive and handle retailers’ marketing messages. As fashion brands or retailers, our marketing message depends on the product line and the target customer.
Best Practices For Listening To Customers
1. Ask your customers about how they engage your brand. Are they connecting with you via trade shows, catalog mailings or print advertisements? Then ask them if they use Google, come directly to your website, read your blog, use Facebook or Twitter. You may find that there are more cost effective marketing methods than your currently using.
2. After you’ve asked them how they engage, listen to what they have to say. Ask them what they like about your brand, ask if they have any concerns. Address them.
3. Next, show some empathy. You need to identify current and new customers. “Do you really understand what your customers are going through right now and their concerns today?” (Brayfield). Saving money is as en vogue as recessionista chic, why should they buy your products? How do your products offer real solutions and add value to your customers’ lives in an sincere, meaningful way? If the don’t, they aren’t going to buy them.
4. Build on your strengths/niches. Embrace the reason customers shop with you in the first place. Remind them over and over again of the emotional or physical need your brand will meet when customers do business with you (Brayfield). Does your brand have a niche with a certain product or product line it produces? Concentrate on filtering your marketing messages to that target audience, go back to step #1 and see what happens.
To learn more about retail marketing and building customer loyalty
for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, visit FashionablyMarketing.Me