Yes I actually said something smart in #IMCChat last night, and yes I am proud of it We had a fabulous discussion last night during #IMCChat about marketing and connecting with customers. We were discussing how a brand’s marketing improves as it better understands the customer. The better understanding comes from connecting, which leads to the brand speaking in a language that more closely resembles that of the customer.
And as that happens, the brand’s marketing becomes more effective, and more efficient. Both the brand and the customer begin to understand the other a bit better, and at some point, that leads to trust. Which helps move the customer to being an advocate for the brand.
To me, this is huge. This is what brands should be aspiring to, to better understand their customers through connecting to them directly. And this also explains why so many people are so excited about social media, because it gives brands online tools to do exactly that. It’s not that the social media tools themselves are amazing, its the CONNECTIONS that the tools help facilitate.
But when you say ‘If you connect directly with your customers and better understand them, your marketing improves as does your number of advocates’, for a lot of marketers they don’t really ‘get’ why that’s a big deal. It doesn’t blow their skirt up.
But if you tweak the metaphor and say ‘If your brand is a rockstar, by connecting with them directly and improving your marketing by better understanding them, you can have more of these….
…then the thought resonates more with marketers. And if you could say that Marketing is the language a brand has to speak because it doesn’t understand the language of its customers, I think you could also say that rockstars have so many fans because they usually speak in the same voice as their fans. That’s the true power of rockstars and the branding lesson for marketers: Rockstars have the same, or at least a very similar, conversation that their fans are having. And this is because they are CONNECTED to their fans. Not only are they connected, but for the most part rockstars seek out and thrive off connecting with their fans.
Now a few brands are able to do this as well. Think of Harley-Davidson, for example. Both the brand, and the customers are having the same conversation. For HD, it’s not about purchasing a motorcycle, it’s about your lifestyle and how you use the motorcycle to connect with others around shared interests, and HD customers feel the same way. In both cases the internal conversation the brand has about itself, and the external conversation the customers have about the brand, are closely aligned. This is a big reason why Harley-Davidson has so many passionate advocates, and ironically, is viewed as being a Rockstar brand.
What are your thoughts on improving marketing? Do you agree that by better connecting with customers that you’ll better understand them and move customers to become more like fans? Does the Rockstar metaphor as it applies to branding and marketing work for you?