How to Reach Customers in an Age of Value Based Marketing
With 2018 still a blank canvas, we gathered great ideas about event marketing at PCMA’s Convening Leaders in Nashville, Tennessee. Right now, the marketing and events industries are at a huge turning point – and the big question is how leaders can innovate their traditional experiences to appeal to an audience that has rapidly changed how they choose the products and services they consume.
A poignant message came from Greg Bogue’s Keynote “More than a Meeting: A Movement.” Based on his extensive research, he’s found that instead of focusing on purchases that feel secure, or communicate their success, customers are now making buying decisions based on their personal values. This is a huge shift that can help reframe our ideas about marketing as we know it.
That means your brand needs to clearly answer this question for your customers: “What can you offer me?”
Here’s how Bogue explained how to do it – and we’ll show you a brand that’s doing it right.
Authenticity is Key
Bogue mentioned that with all the ads and content your audience is forced to consume each day, they’re over being sold to. Viewers are not interested in your marketing speak, and they certainly don’t want to feel tricked into researching your product.
On top of that, when people’s motivation to buy comes from their values, they’re not looking for a list of facts about your product. You have to tell your product’s story.
People aren’t buying Things, They’re Buying Experiences
You want proof of this? Just think of the explosion of the sharing economy, says Bogue. If you want to “Live like a Local,” all you have to do is to check into an AirBnB. In a world where our daily moments are being scrutinized on social media, your audience wants to spend their money on experience.
That means you can’t just see your product or service as a “thing,” and you can’t market it that way. Instead, consider how your brand can fit into your target’s lifestyle. How does it enhance it?
Products and Services are a Means of Self-Expression
Everything that people consume is now a part of their curated self-image. This means you have to be extremely tuned in to what your customer thinks of themselves – and their aspirations.
It can be easy to get too aspirational here, however. Remember: you want to keep everything authentic. If you’re telling your audience about how cool your product will make them and your campaign comes off corney, suddenly you look like Hillary Clinton doing the Nae-Nae (good try Hillary).
Customers want to be Connected
Whether you realize it or not, what you sell creates a community. Bogue says that this can be as literal as a community created by an association through membership, or as abstract as uniting people who feel they need to make a difference in the world by buying organic. Either way, these groups of people are inspired by something bigger than themselves.
How can you facilitate these connections further? How can you illustrate that community through your marketing?
Make your Experience Enough
People are busier than ever. And we’re getting used to a streamlined user experience. That’s why you can’t expect your audience to feel excited while they’re dragged on a complicated venture to buy your product or make it work.
You need to offer people a full, complete service that’s easy to use and understand. Make yourself a convenient, one-stop shop.
Examples of A Marketing Strategy that worked
Ancestry.com has a product where you can send in your genetic material (spit, actually) and find out where your DNA is from. It’s called AncestryDNA. It’s a great product, but, the brand wanted to really make an impact in their target market. Their solution? Tell stories of those who have used their product to reclaim a lost sense of community and truly connect to their past.
Authenticity: This is the true story of someone who used their product. On top of that, it’s an extremely interesting and engaging story- with many layers to the plot and an overall positive message. Told in a documentary style, the viewers are invited to learn and experience Thomas Evans’ point of view on the product and how it inspired him, first hand.
Experience: The message of this story is clear: AncestryDNA is more than just a product. It’s a starting point for a journey you can take into your heritage.
Self-Expression: Perhaps the most successful aspect of this campaign is that it illustrates how Ancestry.com’s product helps their customers express themselves. By learning from Thomas Evans’ story, is clear that AncestryDNA can help someone further understand their identity.
Connection: The video not only showed the connection of Thomas Evans’ community, but also helped potential customers understand that AncestryDNA can connect them to the higher purpose of exploring their roots.
Enoughness: AncestryDNA is easy to use, with a clean interface shown in the video. It provided enough information for Evans to be inspired to create an artistic movement – so it should be enough for the average user!
When you market towards your target audience’s values, you’re communicating in a much more impactful way than traditional marketing. It takes truly understanding the needs of your customers, and that exercise can only lead to a better relationship between you and your potential clients.
Leah Eder is the Marketing Coordinator and Blog Editor for Green Buzz Agency. If a company wanted to market to her values, puppies must be included in every campaign.