User-Engagement Strategies that Drive Customer-Centric Marketing

Rapidly evolving consumer requirements and search engines’ intense dedication to producing trusted answers that meet search intent, means that businesses are forced to get laser-focused on what users want and how they make buying decisions.

It is all about meeting the customer’s needs. This article will answer how you can come up with a strategic marketing plan that will help to reach the people you want to ignite a relationship with. The future of online marketing is being redefined. Smartphone and tablet markets face rapid digital transformation, with areas of saturation, user-centric content, and chatbot services are where the next stage of transformation is taking place.

Keeping the pace with this change requires an understanding of how Google answers users at different touch points in their journey to purchase. You’ll want to leverage multiple channels to strengthen relationships with current and potential customers.

What is a customer-centric organization?

Digital marketers that serve customer-centric organizations understand what customers want, and rely on customer data to capture customer insights and share this across the organization. Brands that are committed to customer centricity concentrate on what their clientele wants and needs, and develop new products and services based on that.

It no longer works to show up online when a person is on the cusp of making a purchase. To win in today’s media mix, the customer dictates reach, frequency, and how they buy. The stark message is that they opt to engage with brands that are present in a relevant, accommodating, and personal manner.

Shoppers want assistance and remedies, and the companies that provide it are the ones that gain the sales.

Every digital effort includes a workflow and process. Just how your customers and prospects are being engaged is critical to sustained success in the long term. More and more companies, who have relied on email marketing as the default method for communications, are now wondering if a better, more engaging way exists. And there is.

Voice Search is Aligning Marketers with the Customer

Voice search has topped typing text into a search box and totally transformed content strategies. Businesses must be keen to align with evolving customer requirements and need a new content writing strategy for more natural “ask an assistant” searches. People want that one right answer and search engines are focused on the ability to provide it.

Your business will benefit if you can view things from the customer’s perspective, and not from an internal business standpoint. By producing goods and services that improve the lives of users, your business will not only see annual financial growth, but predictively will gain a larger pool of long-term loyal clientele.

You are not alone if you simply lack the know-how or feel overwhelmed. With the demise of traditional inbound and outbound marketing efforts, the need to find a bulls-eye marketing plan starts with a better understanding of your customer. After the right content is created, schema markup helps to match content to user queries, and then the many forms of marketing that piece are needed. Continual content audits, ad copy tweaks, and investments to nurture those relationships are vital. How people search changes and search marketers need to change with them.

Predictive guesses vary widely but the common consensus is that it’s five times more expensive to gain a new customer as to retain an existing one. So paying heed to current clients and site visitor wishes is by far the most cost-effective method.

A 2 Phase Approach to User-Centric Marketing

Phase 1:

  • Better topic alignment
  • Better messaging
  • Focus on answer content
  • Better assests
  • Get calls-to-actions in place
  • Better integration between sales and digital marketing

Phase 2

  • Display ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing integration
  • Seek and add client testimonials
  • Fast followup to comments and questions

Connect with Customers Who are Ready to Buy

When you are spending marketing dollars to make it easy for people to find the solutions and products that you offer, put your focus on individuals who already display purchase intent.

Leverage intent data and predictive analytics to create user-centric communications. Engage prospects with a personalized message. The mind-boggling explosion of business transactions on the Internet every minute has empowered changes in buyer behaviors that are disrupting traditional marketing and sales approaches.

It’s allotted companies to give better experiences to prospects and buyers and creates exciting opportunities to innovate. Sometimes, if your content aligns with user needs and your SEO is superb, you can spot early signals that a prospect has an intent to buy.

Websites that are Created With The Customer In Mind

If you are a customer-centric company that wants to engage your customers in more mutually beneficial ways, it will require co-operation from design teams, sales, and customer support for brand alignment and ultimate success.

Due to the nature of their training and function, it is difficult for most web designers to get away from thinking only about visual appeal. They generally don’t place site structured and users’ values first. Preparing for our in-progress voice search revolution is a real challenge for designers. In order to accomplish what is needed, entire teams should look at where your business is currently at in terms of rankings, and user satisfaction.

In the future, customer engagement strategies must go deeper than just to creating content to maintain strength and positioning. User feedback should be considered through every product iteration; this is what it takes to become a competitive player in today’s market space. Real data that leads design decisions will better satisfy the user experience than fancy widgets and flashy design elements. Users are more serious about getting answers and often care less about the design.

How to Create a Customer-Centric Approach to Marketing Decisions

Identify the questions prospective customers are asking, how they seek answers, and how to use those insights to shape your content strategy.

* Head and Sub Topic phrases: Keyword research remains an integral part of crafting a successful user-focused SEO strategy. Today, one and two-word phrases have morphed into topic hubs that identify head terms, and three-four-five keyword phrases are best to answer use cases that seek more specific and well-defined content.

* Search format: Little is static is keyword strategy, search marketers must evolve as search evolves. Along with the changes in the search algorithms, devices, and competitive landscapes, search marketers must respond and revise according to the fluid ways users chose to use search. That may be voice, text, desktop, apps, query length changes, channels, question formats, and user expectations.

* Be where your clients are: Businesses cannot expect users to simple “find” them; go where your customers actually are. Show up where they are looking for answers. Maybe that means switching to video content on YouTube, or developing your Google Assistant page, or being more visible on Google Maps, as well as social platforms.

* Align with the User’s Voice: Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to gain lists of common questions asked on a topic. Ask your sales team, phone answering staff, and employees out in the field interacting directly with clients. Once these questions are identified, audit your content to determine what may be missing from your site and to categorize existing content.

How many times have you been handed something to post where the language used in the new content can immediately be identified as a poor match to the language used by your customers? Few have the enormous brand footprint that is needed if one expects to shape the world by some inventive way that company execs or an author wants to describe or coin.

Adding customer reviews can help put your content in the users’ voice and make a case for why the language you are using may miss them entirely.

* Proofread for natural language: Have one or several people evaluate your answers to each question, and judge if it is in natural language that your customers use and can relate to. Build out new ways to respond to the related queries that users have.

A marketing campaign for a new product or service will need lots of research on the search habits of those potential customers. Have someone who can critically assess if your terminology is too much about closing the deal and not enough about addressing customer pain points by offering easy to understand solutions.

* Trust your customers’ opinion and align: Marketing tactics that once relied heavily on cold calls and not-so-subtle persuasion messages are not achieving the same level of success today. Consumers are less tolerant of companies who tout at length their amazing product; rather, searchers are more practical. They want to get down to an everyday solution and real answers – fast.

They no longer need to rely on salespeople to inform them about the product. Search is much easier and lets the consumer be more in control of how they gather information.

About 81% of customers begin their journey through the sales funnel after they have already conducted extensive online research. Technology is now much more homogeneous, and users have more options than ever.

This means that sales volume depends on customers’ responses to what they find about you online. And whether or not they feel heard and respected. Simply expounding on the virtues of what you sell lacks the unique value and voice that triggers connection. Measure to know what improves online sales. Study the results after changing up your messaging and interactions to a user-centric approach and see if whether or not they are more organically drawn to your site, to your company, and turn to you more for on-going answers and service.

* Track and measure: Tracking what users find valuable on your website helps you to figure out where your traffic came from, what actions visitors took on your site, how to get more user engagement, who you can align with as a business partner to drive more visits, and overall website performance.

Without tracking real user metrics to understand your web analytics, your business will continue to struggle to create sustainable online growth.

And if you’re passionate about business growth, you’ll want to have a track growth plan in place to make it happen.

User-Rich Data Reports

Published on Dec 14, 2017, by Susan Wenograd, the article titled Google Analytics releasing 4 new functions to offer more user-centric insights states that “Ninety percent of marketers say understanding how users engage across channels and devices is vital to success”.

She discusses the new version of standard reporting and how it now includes “Users,” instead of just “Sessions.” This improves the data that businesses can leverage to have better ongoing engagement focus. In particular, this helps in instances where users visit the same site multiple times, in contrast to just the sum number of sessions. Prior to this Google Analytics update, you had to build custom reports to gain a reliable summary picture of user data.

7 ACTIONS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY FOR A CONSUMER FOCUSED BUSINESS STRATEGY

1. Turn on Google Analytics User-focused Reporting

Google’s newer version of user data reporting now includes “Users,” whereas formerly we only had “Sessions.” This reflects the technology giant’s commitment to improving search results by fine-tuning to meet engagement demands. Most businesses need a site visit to come back after reading informational content to learn more about a specific strategy, product, or service. This means that often users visit a site multiple times before making a purchase decision, and marketers need to know more than just a total number of sessions.

Companies no longer have to rely on an search marketing specialist to build custom reports to obtain a reliable summary of user data.

3 Steps to Set-up Google Audience Reporting:

  • Go to Admin
  • Go to Property Settings
  • Tap the toggle switch for “Enable Users in Reporting”

3 Key User Data Reports

  • User Audience Report
  • 2. Conversion Probability Report
  • 3. User Explorer Insights

Take advantage of the new User Explorer tool to study user lifetime metrics and dimensions. Based on the life of their cookie, marketers can gain new details about user activity onsite, such as the number of transactions made or total time spent, or the user journey across pages.

Digital marketers that publish these same audiences to Google Optimize now obtain insights on which website optimizations are likely to have the highest impact on mobile advertising that converts clicks.

You need a current SEO keyword research strategy to ensure your content aligns with the right informational needs of your users.

From this report, it is easier to use your blog as a way to offer users actionable advice, answers, and valuable suggestions; avoid sounding like a preacher on the virtues of your product. When site users recognize that you genuinely care about helping them solve their problems, versus just making a sale, they’ll naturally feel more loyal to your company.

2. Weigh-in on Cyber Security, Privacy Controls, and Trust

As more websites and applications migrate to the cloud, many have yet to eliminate the risk of breach. The end user is now more aware of their rights and cares about what personal data is stored and how it is used. Social engineering, unauthorized Ad pushing, phishing and spear phishing are still big issues. Businesses now have more software choices that offer solutions, they all mainly revolve around user awareness and education. But you need to offer more, like opt-in levels, and clear privacy disclosures.

Facebook data breaches and similar news stories hurt our ears daily and are a source of user pain and uncertainty. Before you can expect many people to consume your content and come back, make access easy. Make security easy by enlisting a digital rights management and data loss prevention plan that shows your business respects user concerns.

3. Gain More User Input

If your company wants a deeper knowledge source offering user insights that the free version Google Analytics provides, consider a technology service or platform that can enable customer input. A unique client identifier (UCI) is most beneficial for firms in terms of return on investment, marketing and innovativeness. This is based on the provision that your company considers a number of key influencing factors relating to strategic management of user data.

If your business is thinking of developing a new product, monitors product life cycles, or invests in Google Ads retargeting, this will take your data to another level. For companies to improve their position in a niche market, predictive user research opens the door to the fastest growing audience segments, product trends, purchase channels, and the most profitable marketing strategies that pull that all together.

You can learn a lot without spending money on software just by reading consumer reviews, social media conversations, and conducting client surveys.

4. Follow changes in Customer Dynamics

There are many rich sources of industry and market research data, charts, and reports available that reveal which topics have the most user interest. You can set up several that will arrive right in your inbox.

However, most business owners are too busy running their business to read them all and know which actions to take. Speaking for the digital space, we watch ad spending, advertising benchmarks, market reach, media device usage, mobile user engagement, e-commerce trends, social media engagement, video marketing reach, and other user demographics.

The goal is to better optimize your offline messaging and web content to better meet user intent.

5. Build a Culture of Loyalty

Demonstrate that you value your customer’s needs and opinions. Craft a way to recognize customers, especially those who consistently offer feedback or make purchases. Learn how they prefer to be rewarded. Don’t give away the stockpile of something no one was interested in purchasing before, rather, reward your shoppers in ways that are meaningful to them.

Craft promotions on your product items that are most appealing and have the most repeat buys by current customers. If your business wants a successful promotions program, then promote the products that your customers love the most. Consider hiring a service to make Google Product Posts or Google Posts with an Offer for you.

6. Make Personalized Search Easy

The popularity of voice-activated search, is a good reason to tackle personalizing your own Google Assistant Directory Page. By doing so, your structured-data powered content will assist in claiming your brand and chances for Google Actions to produce features snippet results for you.

Gather everything you can around which topic entities your users are seeking more information on and use semantic search for much-improved queries. Buyer intent data can empower marketing teams along with their sales colleagues with in-depth user insights that are critical to sales people navigating the complexity of consensus team buying.

7. Use Ontology-based Intervention Networked Services that Understand Users’ Tone and Intent

The ability to apprehend a users’ tone makes personalized search the new frontier. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is researching how to use artificial intelligence in semantic search to distinguish the tone of dialogues that take place through digital devices.

If you are in a conversation with someone where you can hear their voice; you intuitively recognize tonality and emotion naturally through verbal signals. If you both see and hear the person, non-verbal cues can speak volumes. These same fundamentals of conversations are missing in typed searches. Machine learning and voice technology are different and have the ability to take in nuanced intonation.

The world of marketing is shifting to be in better tune with shoppers’ state of mind. To understand what compels shoppers to hit the buy button or to abandon a shopping cart is a major factor behind any successful marketing strategy.

What if Google understands search buyer tone, worry, indecisiveness, excitement, or other mood changes?

A case study by Research Gate published July 13, 2018 and authored primarily by Josep Domenech, associate professor in the Department of Economy and Social Sciences (DECS) at the Technical University of Valencia, uncovers “Digital Vapor Trails”. The study of geographically granular user online activity states that: “Applying Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs), psychology and behavioral science, an infrastructure for semantic transfer of human thoughts, thinking processes and communication directly to the Internet can be designed. This will facilitate the intellectual labor and its representation in human and machine-readable forms, and address the aspects difficult to account so far, f.e. non-verbal communication.”

So where is this going? What does this mean for digital marketers?

The article calls it a ”transition step from Big Data to Smart Data.” It concludes that “the evaluation outcomes are to confirm the technical feasibility of ontology-based intervention networked services enablement, as well as its added value from the, originated new usage scenarios, and its acceptance by the end users”.

Stay Aligned with the Voice of Your Customer

Digital marketers and business who invest in research that helps them determine aspects of lifetime customer value, client satisfaction, and consumer loyalty, find that they can lower content creation and marketing costs over time. When research explores the relationships within subsets of these constructs, mainly in business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, wasted spends on lower-value items can be reduced or entirely eliminated.

To develop a positive business cognition-affect-user-behavior model, customer satisfaction is recognized as the primary relationship between customer value and customer loyalty. No one contests the premise that the end result of having a higher percentage of satisfied customers is “loyalty”; however, proving it with increased revenue in the bank is better than guessing.

A though the costs and benefits upfront may seem daunting, and may also include social or emotional elements, grasping the voice of the customer and actual lifetime customer value is worth it.

3 points to remember when establishing lifetime customer value:

  • The customer value figure is an involving dollar amount.
  • This must be well thought out and carefully considered.
  • It merits being built into your regular schedule of marketing checks.

“Voice queries are leading to new pools of intent-driven, contextual, real-time data that marketers can use to develop more customer-centric engagement strategies.” – Steve Tutelman on Martech Today

A Customer-Centric Culture

Consumer intent is redefining the marketing funnel.

Great companies identify something more life-changing than transactions to provide purpose and meaning; they provide meaningful solutions to a real need.

To scale your business for success, you have to be successful at nurturing your customer relationships. When the core of your business is customer satisfaction, your products and services will reflect that commitment. And people can feel it.To name a few, your consumer insights can help to determine which mobile apps are developed, product development, what topics to write on next, and what social channels are best for additional customer engagement.

Ed Marsh’s June 14th, 2018 6 Ways Buyer Intent Data Fosters Sales & Marketing Alignment*** article says, “with search rankings in the top 3 and strong organic SEO click-through rates (CTR) of 30%, less than 1/3 of prospects will visit your site. Then, even a strong 5% visit-to-lead conversion rate on-site means only 1.5% of people conducting a search will become our leads”.

The remaining percentage of viewers may not be interested or may simply be at another phase in their search for information or purchase journey. Customer-centricity begins with each unique customer and aims to meet the needs of that one customer everywhere, at each touch point, and as much as possible. People tell their friends and business partners about remarkable products and customer service. Client reviews spread the word. And happy customers remain loyal to providers, the companies who go the extra mile to look after the needs of their clientele. Earning customer loyalty takes time and a consumer-centered marketing team heartbeat.

It takes more than just gathering a plethora of data; identifying your top consumer insights is the bigger challenge. According to Jason Spero in the August 23, 2017 How successful businesses win consumer experiences article, “that’s why leading marketers are 46% more likely than mainstream marketers to increase investments in capabilities, like machine learning, which can predict customer needs.” As VP, Global Performance Solutions at Google, he is a trusted source on what consumer performance metrics matter.

Modern technology can do some heavy lifting to aid your marketing decision. When data analysis and application include buyer’s emotional responses, then everything from dynamically served email, mobile content creation, to programmatic media buys can better align with the right consumer need in the right moment. Digital marketers are discovering fresh and innovative means to drive relevance at scale.

“The orientation of an organization toward serving its clients’ needs. Having a customer focus is usually a strong contributor to the overall success of a business and involves ensuring that all aspects of the company put its customers’ satisfaction first.” – businessdictionary.com*

“Voice of the customer (VOC) is a term used in business and Information Technology to describe the in-depth process of capturing customer’s expectations, preferences and aversions. It is a market research technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives.” – Wikipedia**

Better Customer Data Yields More Granular Knowledge

As retail competition gets tougher, digital marketers need to continually evolve their understanding of how customers make decisions. Doing so requires constantly finding sources of knowledge about what customers are asking and how they make purchasing decisions. We can help you discover ways to promote a positive and customer-centric mindset that enhances the buyers’ experience, promotes sales and, above all, helps you to increase customer loyalty.

Voice search opens the way to getting answers faster, which provides frictionless retail experiences that improve online sales. Accepted authors with news publisher status that embed niche rich markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their published articles make it easy for Google to parse out information that users are seeking. Hill Web Marketing can help with that.

A website content audit may quickly become the cornerstone of your entire content strategy. With a consumer-centric focus, this form of auditing helps to determine how your website’ content can improve in the consumer’s eyes. Your brand goals and marketing objectives can take on a new depth with a continual thumbs-on approach to your customer’s needs while also aligning with your target audience segments.

To know your customers better and to evolve along with consumer demand, call 651-206-2410; we’ll start with a Website Audit to Assess Consumer Alignment

* http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/customer-focus.html
** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_the_customer
*** https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/buyer-intent-data