The Forrester Marketing Forum in the US has provided some interesting insights, covered by an article in Forbes. One of the very interesting points that was raised was around planning your marketing around your customer and not your internal organisational plans. I have always believed this as at the centre of marketing – it is the customer that is important, not your organisational issues or silos. Of course, financial and organisational structures cannot be ignored and the latter is particularly more of an issue the bigger the business gets. But you should start with the customer and their lifecyle and plan around that.
Here is a summary of the key points:
- Reach – this is the stage where you need to reach out to your customers through media that will grab them such as online displays, television, adverts etc. The article does not cover it but I would include your search engine optimisation here too (SEO)
- Depth – to help your customers explore and buy your product/solution, this is where a depth of clear, consistent and interesting content comes into play on your website
- Relationship – as prospects and customers start to want to engage with you and as part of the post-purchase relationship, the engaging channels come into play – such as email campaigns and social media
This is a newer way of looking at what used to be referred to as ‘AIDA’ (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) in all the marketing schools. What I think it helps you do, is focus your activity around what your customers actually want and need from you – and at which different stages. And too often, no matter the size of your business, you need to remember to step back and go back to the basics again of when and where your customers want to find you, find out more about you and then engage with you.