Does Your Audience Come First?

Posted by
Jeffrey Rohrs
VP of Marketing Insights, Salesforce
01/28/2015 - 10:00

From leadership to employees and customers, audiences are the heart of every business. And as more business happens via digital, it’s even more important for people to feel like they are at the heart of your business.

Growing your brand’s proprietary audiences and focusing on that human relationship is hard work. It can’t just happen overnight. It must be a company-wide effort, and the results … are worth it. According to Bain & Co., a 10 percent increase in customer retention levels results in a 30 percent increase in the value of the company.

In this blog series and podcast, you’ll find our discussion around getting to know your audience, and growing that audience from first-time visitors to engaged brand advocates. This first post highlights how to define your audiences, along with details on creating a truly engaging experience.

Where to begin: define your audiences

Not all brand audiences are created equal, and each may seek a different solution or answer. So, before your brand can start to engage its audiences, we must primarily define them.

On a high level, all brands can separate audiences into three key groups: seekers, amplifiers, and joiners.

1. Seekers: The seeker is using different channels to find information or entertainment. We know them as Google searchers, radio listeners, or TV viewers.

2. Amplifiers: The amplifier will share your message. You might know this audience as a local reporter, or an industry influencer.

3. Joiners: Joiners are key to brand success. These are regular customers, fans, followers, subscribers, and donors, who are a part of your brand story and experience.  

Create relevant connections

Focus on how to connect with each audience in the most relevant way possible. If done so successfully, you’ll start building your brand’s own, proprietary customer communities.

These larger scale audience strategies open the door for more one-on-one conversations. It’s there when brands can truly connect, form relationships with their audiences, and create a more lasting connection.

Plus, customer feedback is invaluable when it comes to brand improvement. Only your customer can provide the bird’s-eye view needed to drive change and reinvent internal strategies. 

Serve up a ‘red velvet’ experience

When it comes time for one-on-one audience engagements, your customer service representative can be one of the best cogs in the audience-marketing-machine. Service pros are able to engage on a more personalized level, which brings me to the “red velvet concept.” We as brands now have the unprecedented ability to pull the red velvet rope away, let our customers in, and impress.  

For example, I’m from Cleveland and certainly consider myself a Cleveland Browns’ fan (… or victim). If I’m on a sporting goods website, I definitely don't want to see Baltimore Ravens gear. With the right technology in place (i.e. like geolocation software, or a personalized content offer), I should see the closest sports team promoted, or content offers based on any past team purchases. If I need help with a purchase and the company representative throws in a few “dawg pound” references, it’s a natural connection that puts the human-factor back in digital.

Technology has enabled a VIP, red velvet experience online. These more meaningful exchanges lead to sales, longer lasting relationships, and the development of your brand’s most loyal fans.

What’s the point?

The point of figuring out your audiences and a strategy to more proactively engage them brings us back to the human connection. A personal, memorable customer experience is what makes the average customer your next brand advocate. So, take the time to engage your audiences! Put a human face on your brand, and thank your audiences for their attention. The key is to listen and engage in a meaningful way.

Want to know more? Check out our full conversation with Jeff in the podcast below.

Stay tuned for Jeff’s next post, all about adapting to the nonlinear, digital customer journey.

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