Erik Modig is a researcher at the Center for Consumer Marketing at Stockholm School of Economics and is also the author of several books about communication and advertising. With his many years of experience in teaching advertising strategies and his appreciated Incubator workshops at Minc, we asked him about his best advice to reach customers online.
1: More channels is not the solution
Lots of people and companies are worried that they’re not on enough social media platforms. But in fact, it’s better to be performing better on less channels than making sure to be on all of them.
All different platforms have their own algorithms, and work differently from each other. Facebook premiers personal copy, Instagram premiers the quality of the content while LinkedIn has an eye for long posts with a long reading time. This means all posts need to be designed and planned accordingly, which of course takes a lot of time. Add a newsletter, and there is about no time left of the day. This is why you can see companies post the same content and copy on all their platforms. Because there’s just no time.
Therefore, it’s better to focus on one or two platforms and make sure it performs well. Evaluate the platforms you are using today, and how well they perform as well as where you’re most likely to attract customers or partners. Plan your content and strategies well. Use a chart of purpose, time frames, KPI’s. See how well it performs, and how to make it even better.
2: Understand functional and emotional customer value
Before structuring a marketing strategy, a value proposition or personas, it is important to understand the decision-making around the product or service you’re selling. There are different ways to figure this out, but one is to map out different kinds of customers – and how to help them make the decision.
The evaluating person.
Answers to what we are saying. They focus on facts, like comparisons and evaluate their decisions around your kind of product or service. They are what you can call ”slow thinkers”, they take their time.
To get their attention, you could show specific attributes, performance or characteristics that differentiate your product/service from others on the market.
The fast thinking person.
Answers to what we talk about. They’re focusing on low effort problem solving and like to get things done. They like to have routines.
So, what problem do you solve, or what opportunity do you offer? Typical characteristics are ”first, best choice” based on limited research. This also means that a smooth and fast transaction is preferable.
The emotional person.
Answers to how we say it. They like to focus on needs, and how they are perceived by others. Whether it’s social status, or social position – adventurous, tech savvy or awareness.
This means that your product/service needs to be presented as the most emotionally satisfying choice. It needs a symbolic meaning to either themselves or in a social context – ”By having this, I belong to this group I want to be identified with.”
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all. Some might need to change some things. But a good starting point is to ask internally, workshop it and go from there. Another good start is going from high to low involvement, as well as emotional. Use surveys, ask and interact with customers to figure out what kinds of customers you have.
3: Putting on someone else’s shoes is tricky, but crucial
You have the customers' attention, and are now on your website, holding a pamphlet in their hands or in your store. This is where the customer journey comes in. There are some key points to keep them interested and make sure that they end up making a purchase, or a registration.
The first thing is, of course, the first impression. What kind of paper do you use, what is the quality of the design of your webpage and how does your store look when you come in? People tend to perceive things and experiences better if the first impression is good.
The second thing you should consider is, are things in the right place? Is it easy to find? Make sure to make it accessible and easy to navigate.
Then, can you somehow show the customers that you're a trustworthy player? Have you worked with other known companies, or gotten any awards?
Lastly, what emotional reactions do you want your customers to have? Think of IKEA, having cheap hotdogs at the end of the checkout. This works as a reward, and makes sure the customers can end the store with a good gut feeling.
This is just some measure points, and all journeys are different. Putting yourself in your customers shoes is indeed difficult – but crucial. It helps the customer to through the journey with ease, and without hesitations.
Go through your own journey, and try it out. How does the webpage look? Is everything where it should be, how is the navigation? What is the first impression of your presentation for your service? And how do you make sure to stay with the customer even after the purchase?
You’ll see and learn more from Erik in our Incubator workshops! Read more or sign up to the Incubator here.
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