I spend a good portion of my day talking to clients about how their newest greatest technology is going to change the face of business. It doesn’t matter the product. It doesn’t matter the company. Regardless of whom I talk with, I am always left with the feeling that for a lot of marketers and IT minded individuals, the IT products – the tech – will serve as the major selling point.
The only problem with this is, it isn’t true. More and more, I find myself telling clients that while the technology needs to be solid, it isn’t enough to foster a long-term business/customer relationship. All too often companies are too caught up in their tech based solutions and not focused enough on providing a clear consistent message to their clients across all of their marketing channels.
Consistent Messaging Matters
How many marketing communication channels does your brand utilize? You have a website but are you actively running email, social or SMS campaigns to reach your consumers? More importantly, is your branded messaging across your active channels independent from one another or are they working in conjunction?
A few weeks ago I visited J Crew Factory to purchase some new collared shirts. During the checkout process, I signed up to receive the J Crew email newsletter. At the same time, I also went on the J Crew Factory site to sign up for brand emails. Instead of making the connection of a singular customer singing up to receive email from the brand, J Crew began sending me two different emails with two different core messages.
Not only did this take away from my customer experience with J Crew, it also provided me with two different core branded messages. This only served to frustrate me. I end up unsubscribing from one of the emails.
Why did I mention this?
I bring up my bad digital experience with J Crew Factory because it represents an overall problem with business to client communications.
From the business point of view, not making the connection means brands are left wondering why a customer dropped out of the sales channel while not realizing that client is still there. It also means not understanding why certain brand messaging worked and why certain brand messaging didn’t work. Both are major red flags for marketers.
From the client point of view, receiving too much email from a brand turns the client off. Receiving too much email from a company with mixed messaging turns a client off even more. By providing too much information with no central overall message, the client becomes confused and eventually disinterested in a brand they use to love.
More than ever, consistent messaging matters to both clients and businesses. If your website message isn’t the same as your social or email messaging, clients and companies alike will become frustrated quickly.
Cross Channel Messaging
The digital age has been both wonderful and terrible to marketers. Now, more than ever, marketers have more avenues to reach consumers. The downside of that is now, more than ever, there are too many avenues to reach consumers. How does a marketer know what channel – email, social, SMS, website – to reach a client on? What channel is the right channel?
While there are tools to determine how your clients interact with your brand, it is up to you to provide them with cross channel brand marketing. If a client visits your website and sees that a 20% sale is currently active and then visits your company Twitter feed only to find a 30% sale is currently running, how does he/she know which is correct? If company channels act as individual silos the client gets left behind, unsure which channel message is correct.
For this reason your marketing channels cannot – cannot – act independent from one another. If they do, your company risks losing clients, trust and sales. No longer can branches of your company act independently from one another. In our digital world wherein everything is hyper-connected, your business channels must also be hyper-connected.
It’s not about the technology. Your company tech solutions are the products that interest consumers and bring them in the door. Your company channel communications are what make the sales, keep clients in the long-term sales channel and build brand loyalty.
Company tech solutions are good. Effective and coordinated cross channel client communication is better.