An everyday sale or complaint incident can become a memorable customer experience if you and your employees understand the “human” side of your brand. When coming up with creative social media marketing campaigns, marketers often get caught up in so many metrics and KPIs, that they forget they are humans communicating to humans.
When Netflix support staff Michael showed a little personality while responding to a customer complaint, he turned a customer’s pain point into a wonderfully memorable experience. By not resorting to a robotic script, Mike converted a disgruntled customer into a brand advocate!
While this may seem like a spontaneous incident, it is actually the result of a conscious effort on behalf of the owners who create an atmosphere of ownership and empowerment in the workplace.
Social media marketing messages reflect the workplace ethics because they are humans taking impressions of their surroundings. A tense, stressful workplace will never yield light, heartwarming messages from the brand.
Brands create success stories when they help their marketers focus on the emotional aspect of the business and end up with more advocating and loyal fans than others. They are able to engage more fans on social media and create a better brand recall.
While I was working for an application development agency, I observed that our owner joined us for small games of Pictionary during work breaks and encouraged employees to doodle on a big glass board when they were bored.
The developers enjoyed their breaks from working on thousands of lines of code in front of their screens. As a marketer, I found the light moments translated themselves effortlessly into my social media marketing messages posted on behalf of the brand. If your marketers cannot relate to your brand, you cannot expect them to convince your customers to do so.
However, freelance marketers do not have the liberty of spending months at an office just to get to know the workplace and brand persona. So here are my three hacks to help marketers always add a human touch to their promotions to increase engagement and boost conversions:
1. Personify the brand:
Ask yourself who the brand would be, if he/she were a person. Sketch a person or write 250 words about this “person” defining likes, dislikes, morning routine, hobbies and values.
As a freelancer, I do this by starting off with a candid interview of the brand owner or CEO because their vision of the brand makes the brand who it is. I have gotten confused looks when I have asked founders why the chicken crossed the road or what is on their bucket list, because they could not understand how this would help the campaign. I then sketch out this ‘person’ as a caricature. This exercise brings me on the same page as the rest of their employees on their brand’s feel.
2. Imagine the “real-life” customer:
Next, give your target audience a name and a face. Based on data you receive from the marketing and sales departments, sketch out a regular customer or write about him or her. Answer questions such as: Name? Age? Place of residence? Hobbies? Pet peeves? Favourite vacation spot? Bucket list?
You also need to map out his or her customer acquisition journey. Write down the scenario of what motivates them to buy, how they choose from different options and where they make their purchases. This sketch and write-up will help you write a message that is intended for real people.
3. Find the “sweet spot” for your marketing efforts:
With a brand persona and customer profile in front of you, you can now draw a Venn diagram showing the overlap in how you want your brand to be perceived and what your customer wants.
This overlap is what will define the design language and tone of your marketing material. I like to call this the “sweet spot”. This sweet spot lets you design for perception, rather than simply pitching a solution.
An Australian agency, Bang Digital puts it: “Having a peering eye into a brand’s personality gives a new dimension to the customer-brand relationship. More often than not, customers will choose a product sold by a lovable brand over a better product coming from a stone-cold company.
Through this process, your robotic “classified ad” becomes a humanised message that can connect your customers emotionally with your brand. It will touch your customers’ hearts and help them relate to your brand the way they can connect with a friend, an advisor or a loved one. Your brand will have a voice, among other benefits such as standing out from other brands. Not everyone would put in the time and effort to work on brand personality and understand customers, but going the extra mile will ensure that your brand hits a chord with your customers. Remember, “there are no traffic jams along the extra mile”.