Marketing to Computers vs. Marketing to People
Your smartphone—the one who wakes you up in the morning. The one who doesn’t hesitate to tell you all of the exciting things you’ve missed while you were sleeping. The one who tells you to bring your umbrella today because storms are coming later on. The one who shows you how to get around the traffic jam on your way to work. The one who reminds you to call that client or pick your children up from school. But will your smartphone market your business for you?
Smartphones and Tablets and Laptops, Oh My!
Did you know…
* There were 1.4 billion smartphones in use in 2013.
* The typical American spends about 2 hours per day on a mobile device.
* The typical American spends almost 40 minutes per day using social media, making social networking the top online activity in the U.S.
* 8 out of 10 small- to medium-sized businesses use social media for marketing.
* 46% of Internet users consult social media before making a purchase.
With the world’s new and growing obsession with all things technological, it’s easy to hop on the bandwagon. But be careful—it might be very difficult to escape. Don’t get us wrong: technology certainly has many benefits. Technological tools can be used to enhance workplace communication, make your company more efficient, and reach your customers in faster, easier, more direct ways.
But here’s the part that many companies are forgetting in this new age of technology: marketing should target people, not computers. That’s right. There are living, breathing human beings on the other end of those Twitter handles, smartphone apps, and Internet search terms.
If you’ve been using technology to market your business, but you aren’t seeing the results and growth that you’re aiming for, maybe it’s time to take another look at who you’re really marketing to. If you market to computers rather than marketing to people, it will definitely have an impact on your success and the image of your company going forward.
Warm & Fuzzy
If we had to guess, we’d say you’d take a handwritten, personalized “thank-you” note over a generic, emotionless, typed email any day. When we are constantly surrounded by the latest technological tools and mass messages, personalization goes a long way. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that we’re human, right?
Even the technology industry is picking up on this. Google is changing its algorithms to be more people-driven. Keyword matching is transforming into intent matching. Personalized content is now 42% more successful than generic content.
For example, Moz, a company that creates software to support inbound marketing, has created its analytics platform based on human behavior rather than piles of data: “It’s about creating content people will love, and seeing how it gets shared on the web. It’s connecting and being responsive on social media…so you can engage [customers] in meaningful conversation.”
Long story short, you too should start seeing marketing as an opportunity for meaningful, human conversation. Your customers are not computers. Your customers are human beings with needs and expectations, as well as stresses and pain points—human beings who still get all warm and fuzzy when they receive a handwritten note in the mail.
A Human Approach
Don’t get nervous here, we’re not about to tell you that your company needs to handwrite all of its marketing messages from now on. There is, however, one very important action that you should take in order to start marketing to people and stop marketing to computers: create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is essentially a fictional character in your company’s marketing story, with all of the same needs, pain points, characteristics, and expectations of as your real-life, typical customer.
* Your buyers’ priorities, and where they dedicate the most time and energy
* How your buyers qualify successful purchases
* Why your buyers might choose to buy from a competitor rather than from you
* The specific steps your buyers take when making purchasing decisions
An in-depth knowledge of your prospective customers, who they are, and how they make decisions will allow you to get to know the human qualities that make your buyers tick. Understanding these qualities will put you on the path toward the creation of personalized, unique, and compelling content that will provide your customers with exactly what they are looking for.
Buyer knowledge opens doors. Stop treating your customers like computers and start getting to know your buyers as the human beings that they are.
To learn about Hello Marketing, an inbound marketing agency, and how we can help you develop a buyer persona to start treating your customers like humans, take a look at our Inbound Marketing Whitepaper.