4 Ways to Connect More Deeply with Customers

Do you ever wish your company could develop a cult following like Apple, Zappos, or REI? What do they know about connecting with customers that others do not? Here are 4 tips to understand consumer behavior and build audience engagement.

Marketing today has changed drastically from just a few years ago, and it is never going to be the same. Customers are doing more of their own independent research: studies show that 70% of purchasing decisions are made before your prospect engages with your brand. Additionally, resistance to traditional advertising is growing: ad blocker usage rose 30% worldwide year over year, and the number continues to grow.

Gone are the days when brands could succeed through promoting their offerings through disruptive ads. Today, consumers are demanding greater transparency and setting the rules on how they want to communicate. And it’s getting harder to break through.

“Marketing today is broken and has become meaningless. We’re here to put meaning back in marketing, to help brands get back to their roots and connect with people,” says Sarah Hardwick, Zenzi CEO.

Zenzi’s values marketing methodology is backed by over 40 years of proven academic research and uses sentiment analysis, social listening, and surveys to help brands uncover the inner motivations of their best customers.

Hardwick suggests 4 steps for marketers to forge stronger relationships with consumers:

  1. Go Deeper –Personas with demographic information are a good start, but they do not fully touch on what is important to the customer and what personally motivates them. For that you need to dig deeper into the psychographics of your audience.
  2. Listen –Often we are so busy talking about the benefits of our brand we miss what consumers are saying. Through social listening on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can uncover what your customers are sharing, who they admire and even their inner motivations and desires.
  3. Ask –An obvious, yet neglected tactic, is to interact with your customers face to face. Your top consumers can offer a wealth of information to extend the conversation in directions you may not have anticipated. Just as importantly, it lets them know you care.
  4. Take action –For goodness sake, don’t let your customer persona languish in a drawer. It has to be put into practice. Develop a plan to capitalize on what’s been gleaned and involve all necessary departments to make it happen.

Even small steps can make a big difference to truly understand and connect more deeply with your customers.