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How to Become Part of Users’ Everyday Lives Through Marketing

I bet you've heard this saying over and over from marketing gurus:

"You need to be everywhere your potential customers are!"

I can also bet you thought to yourself, well, yeah. That totally makes sense.

And you're right, it absolutely does.

The idea of being everywhere your potential customers are allows brands to stay top of mind with their customers no matter where they go. They are reminded of two major things: 1) the benefits of partnering with that brand over close competitors, and 2) the urgency and necessity of purchasing right now instead of later!

That's what basic marketing is by definition.

However, being everywhere your potential customers are is sort of an old adage because it can set marketers up for failure if they take it way too seriously. Why? Because there's a very fine line between being helpful to users and being spammy.

Which do we want to be? I'll give you a hint spammy is the wrong answer. ?

Here's what not to do:

Scenario #1:

I've had clients who have relayed that saying to me plenty of times in the past. My team and I would start out by asking, "Well, what's your brand's target demographic?"

Most of the time in the B2B realm especially their response would be Xennials or early Boomers because those are typically the decision-makers.

We would say, "Okay, great. Let's see how we can reach them on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc."

They would say things like, "Great, but shouldn't we be on Snapchat also?"

The problem with Snapchat is that it's more active users are Generation Z and Millennials. That would be a waste of time and effort when we could use those resources for something that offers a better ROI.

"But, what about TikTok?" they'd say. And here we are, back to square one!  ?

Scenario #2:

There's another scenario that's relevant to this topic that happened with a client in the health industry.

The client suggested the idea of using the patient data on file to target their friends and family for a new service they were offering.

The biggest problem: this would violate HIPAA laws BIG time. In addition, the friends and family that received these highly targeted ads would probably feel extremely creeped out and maybe even unsafe, especially if they are of an older generation.

My team and I explained these things to the client multiple times, but it never seemed to get through because the client's biggest priority was being everywhere and anywhere that potential customers were.

But, when you think about it, shouldn't a brand in the health industry be a little more caring? I'd hope so...

Scenario #3:

This third scenario has to do with brands truly overdoing it.

I had a client who was BIG on being everywhere all the time. Like the first scenario, it didn't matter what platform it was or which users were most active there— they just wanted to throw money and hope it stuck to at least something

They threw out ideas for Spotify ads, YouTube ads, TikTok, Pinterest, Tumblr, and so on. All very different platforms with different audiences and different messaging. However, this client wanted to broadcast the same message on each platform because they felt consistency was the most important thing.

"The brand has to be recognizable everywhere by anyone," they said.

Well, yes. But, for it to be effective and not annoying to users, it has to be at the very least slightly different per platform because not even the preferred content is the same. Spotify is all about recordings and TikTok is all about videos.

Furthermore, if the customer landed on this client's site, they wanted their ads to follow users around everywhere they navigated to afterward.

Because of how spammy that would feel for users, they may intentionally purchase from a competitor instead when it's time to buy.

To reiterate the points from above about what not to do:

  • Choose platforms based on where your target demographic is most active and capitalize on it. Do not waste your resources on tactics that don't offer a significant ROI!
  • Do not get ultra creepy by following users everywhere they go with advertisements. The older generation especially will hate it!
  • No matter what you do, always make sure you're being ethical. Period.

Here's the right way to do it:

On the other hand, there are positive ways to be where your customers are. Let's use Weixin, for example.

Weixin, pronounced way-shin, is a popular social networking app in China that offers the same capabilities of any other social media platform— posting images, sending messages, sharing news, etc. 

On top of that, the platform also offers smartphone users the option to search in its own in-app browser for news, create an online store, send money to friends and family, book a taxi, and so on.

Because the app allows users to do just about anything, Weixin has seen an outpour of success. In fact, nearly 5 million people participated in their Red Envelope campaign to send money to friends and family, and 20 million cash-filled “red envelopes” were sent virtually (Horwitz, 2014).

Today, this all-in-one app is worth over $100 billion on the Hong Kong exchange (Barboza, 2014)

Our Key Takeaways:

Using the Weixin example, here are three key takeaways we can pull from.

1. Know your audience.

One area that Weixin really exceeds in is knowing its audience.

The company targets young, urban smartphone users. This demographic is frequently on-the-go and doesn't always have the time to scroll on their phone without purpose. They are tech-savvy and social, but also want to stay organized because of the nature of their lifestyle. Because they are young and newer in their careers, they might be working multiple jobs to make enough money to live somewhat comfortably and get their feet wet in their respective industry.

Weixin knows this and has capitalized on it by offering a relevant platform that satisfies their needs very clearly. 

2. Offer convenience and simplicity.

The Weixin app is all about both convenience and simplicity for its users. Its goal is to eliminate the need to search elsewhere because everything that might be needed online is alright in one place at users' fingertips.

It's one reason why ads don't always work effectively on Facebook. Sometimes users don't want to leave the platform to navigate to a different site to make a purchase. It's not only about the convenience aspect, but also the mindset they are in. On social media, users can be in a very passive mindset, which contrasts with pushy advertisements that may show up on their feed.

Give users the opportunity and convenience to connect if they want to without being too salesy.

3. Become part of users' everyday lives.

When a company becomes part of a user's everyday routine or habit, whether it's through a product or service offered or even their social media pages, it holds so much more weight than trying to force them to care.

Build the community first by listening to them and giving them what they need. As a result, it will be easier to make a behavior change when it comes to either a purchasing decision or a positive social change. Users will also be more likely to remain loyal to the brand when they feel welcomed and heard.

Weixin did this by adding more and more helpful and convenient features as they received feedback from its users. 


 

After that long-winded spiel, the moral of the story is: don't just be everywhere your potential customers are— become a part of their lifestyle.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to reach out with any questions about the content above, or about digital marketing in general. I would be happy to help! Stay tuned for more to come. ?

 

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