CHAPTER 4. CULTIVATING CUSTOMERS
- You’ve studied your target consumers, refined your brand and created awareness for your brand with your audience.
- But all but a few of these prospects are ready-to-buy.
- So you need to cultivate and nurture them until the magic moment comes.
1. Selling in the digital age
- The internet is the first medium that can simulate a sales person.
- The vast majority of consumers are not ready to buy
- Most consumers need to be cultivated before they buy.
- Much of selling is being in the right place at the right time so just stay connected.
- Technology gives brands the data they need to automate much of the personalized selling process that was previous handled by sales.
2. Removing Barriers
- Consumers don’t want to be sold, they want to be in control. So don’t force them to talk to a sales person just because you think it gives you an advantage. It doesn’t. they are more likely to just go somewhere else.
- Consumers want to make the best choices. They also want the process to be easy and enjoyable.
- Brands can earn trust by providing answers and making the process easy. But do not attempt to manipulate the consumer. They will see it and punish the brand.
3. The Role of Content
- Content is the currency of cultivation. Brands exchange content for the consumer’s time and attention.
- The more relevant and compelling your content is, the more valuable the consumer will find it.
- Give away your knowledge. It will attract buyers, build trust and result in leads.
- Cultivating is not selling, it is creating the conditions for preference to form.
- Make sure your content has real value and integrity for the consumer.
4. Content Creation
- The hardest thing for brands is to create a continuous flow of high quality content, cost efficiently.
- Effective content doesn’t need to be expensive, just engaging and relevant.
- Great content requires strong strategic guidance.
- The secret of great content is a great content team.
5. The Cultivation system
- Marketing technology makes mass, automated cultivation possible.
- Before you can deliver personalized content at the right time, to the right person, you need to put your systems in place.
- Marketing technology such as marketing automation (MAP) customer relationship management (CRM) and content management systems (CMS) are readily available and accessible to even small companies.
6. Cultivation tactics
- Inbound tactics attract consumers to your Owned media such as your website. For example, content with search engine optimization (SEO) will attract search.
- Outbound tactics include activity triggered email, retargeting, drip marketing lifecycle campaigns, text, mobile apps and more.
- Permission mail is still the unsung hero of marketing.
7. Be Useful
- Consumers don’t want an annuity, they want a stable retirement; they don’t want a weed killer, they want a beautiful yard. Brands that help consumers achieve their goals earn their trust, loyalty and business.
- Find ways to be useful to your consumers and they will stay connected to you.