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Online Dating: The Marketing Edition

February 25, 2019    |     Henry Hansch

The digital age has brought about a huge evolution to the marketing game.  The basic premise of attracting customers by putting your name and brand anywhere and everywhere no longer stands to attract business.  In its place, is an intricate marketing dance between company and consumer that is much more akin to dating a significant other and attracting attention.  This intricate courtship is filled with numerous touchpoints, coined micro-moments in the marketing world which are similar to the number and variety of interactions one has with a spouse at the beginning of your courtship.

So what is the most important part of the initial stages of dating someone new?  Communication, that’s what! The same can be said for modern marketing efforts. One of the most important aspects of a good marketing strategy is creating content that will provide relevant information to potential clients.  Once the content is created, it is important to explore a number of channels in order to deliver it to potential buyers. The tricky aspect is determining which channels are best, considering the diverse number of avenues information can be attained in the age of technology and information.  Much like the numerous ways you can connect with a potential partner because of modern technology.

But what kind of content is the right kind of content? “The client has a lot of technical sheets - This would work for the campaign, right?” This is something that we used to hear from our sales team on a daily basis when they were working with the clients to see if they would be a good fit for one of our performance based campaigns. In their minds, it’s a piece of content, it’s informational - how could it now work?  The problem is, this is not the kind of information a potential buyer would be looking for. If you are not creating content with consumer initiated micro-moments in mind, then you will fail to engage new customers. End game is to create content that has information that customers will be looking for and place it when and where they will be looking.

We tried a few different approaches to help the sales team and our customers see the light and the one analogy that seems to have stuck in their minds is the one between personal relationships and marketing efforts.  That the multiple interactions that you need eventually lead up to marriage are actually very closely related to what you need to one a successful marketing campaign. Come on, who doesn’t relate with all of the different tactics you employed to win over your love?  Some worked, some didn’t, some are still laughed at today - however it was most likely not one “touchpoint” that led to winning their love and affection, but many over a period of time.

Similar to a successful marketing campaign - you’re going to need to utilize different tactics at different stages to work your way through the various touchpoints to sway one's experience driven opinions. You just can not bank on using one white paper or technical sheet to seal the deal. For example:

Zero Moment of Truth: The point in the buying cycle when the consumer researches a product, often before the seller even knows that they exist.

  • What type of person were you interested in?

    • Through your life experiences, we all start to figure out who’s going to make us smile. This is no different in a B2B purchase - We’re in business and we have a good idea of the tools and resources we require and we’re always looking for more information to help us improve our business.  In this stage, you want to make sure your business is accessible with a mobile friendly website and educational articles and blogs that help attract potential clients.

  • How did you meet?

    • Think back, how did you meet your love?  Did friends set you up (recommendations), Did you use a dating site (network), Did you meeting during a shared interest (community)?  The key is that you made yourself available in the different areas that you were most interested in. Similar to your business, you get involved with different trade events and channels that you know your potential clients are visiting to learn more.  You’re looking to stand out so that you’ll be noticed and with the hope that they’ll then be drawn back to your website or social profiles, similar to how you may have asked your friends or went online to learn more about your future mate. In this state it’s all about the research and learning.

First Moment of Truth: Attract - Customers encounter your product/service for the first time:

  • First Date

    • Did you ask your spouse to marry you?  No - You learned more about each other over a series of additional dates.  Yup, a lot more research and touch points (no pun intended) where you were a bit nervous and inquisitive as you both learned to be more comfortable with one another.

Actual Moment of Truth: Convert - The post-purchase experience gap after a consumer has made a purchase but before they've received the product:

  • Going Steady

    • Now you’re at the point where you’re meeting their friends and family and realizing that you have a lot more in common then you originally may have thought. You’re getting re-assurance (or not) that you’re a good fit and this is similar to how your potential clients will be reviewing comparison sites and reaching your to your current clients to learn more about you.

  • The Proposal

    • It’s time - you’re ready to pop the question.  All of the various touch points have culminated to a proposal acknowledging that you’ll be a good fit and trust one another.

Second Moment of Truth: Close - Customers purchase the product / service and experiences the brand quality and promise.

  • The Wedding

    • It’s the magic day and it’s all about to begin.  Both parties have signed up and hope that this all supports the pre-purchase promises.

Third Moment of Truth: Delight - Customer provides reaction and feedback to the brand

  • Happily Ever After

    • Your “spouse” (aka client) becomes a true advocate and is happy to share the experiences with others.  They provide continuous feedback and in a truly happy partnership continue to learn and improve. As the loving partner, Paying attention to the small things (surveys, feedback, and excellent customer service / engagement—Maybe pull in Net Promoter Score) and always looking to improve with new products and services.

Interesting enough, through the entire process, Micro-Moments play a vital role in just about every step of the process and both move things along and complicate them at the same time.  At anytime, the poor sap could either break it or make it by posting the wrong thing on Facebook or finding out something spectacular from a mutual friend! We’re going to wish them the best and as they say in fairy tales, we hope they live happily ever after.

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