“The salesperson with heart is one that can relate and connect more naturally with prospects and customers. That’s because when you approach sales with heart, you care about your customers. And with caring comes a deep interest in who they are as people and how to make them successful,” says a recent article at AlleyWatch, “Authenticity and Sales.”
Marketing channels, campaigns, and specific promotional tactics are important components in sharing your message with consumers.
But don’t overlook the importance of authenticity and consumer perception of who you are and what you represent as essential elements of a successful marketing effort.
Research findings reveal marketing tactics financial providers and others will incorporate in 2016, and also discuss external circumstances marketing teams need to consider as they strategize.
But, surveys and reports also show that in marketing, authenticity is truly at the “heart of the matter” as consumers seek personalized services from trustworthy providers.
Consider whether your marketing approach conveys who you are and what you want to be for your audience. Authenticity wins business.
‘Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.’ -- Coco Chanel
First, a big picture look at the marketing landscape.
According to Eleventy Marketing Group, there are three questions companies need to ask themselves at least annually: “Where have we been? Where are we going? How do we get there?”
Survey results provide interesting findings from 295 industry-wide business leaders concerning various priorities and challenges for 2016:
“Subscriber engagement and improving segmentation will be top email marketing priorities,” the article notes. The biggest goal is to increase subscriber engagement, which is an objective for 34.58% of survey participants.
Digital marketing is important. Another poll at smartinsights.com says content marketing will be the digital marketing activity with greatest commercial impact in 2016 for 22% of respondents. Big data (17%), and marketing automation (13%) also will have an impact.
Purchase decisions are complex and becoming even more so. Customers visit multiple devices through time, “particularly for high involvement or high-value purchases.” One example is the purchase of insurance. Consumers averaged nine visits to five websites over 35 days before deciding.
Do you clearly demonstrate your value proposition to consumers as they compare your services over time to other providers? How are you distinctive?
Finally, one last general observation on the marketing environment is found at Entrepreneur in “4 Trends That Will Shape Marketing in 2016.”
How will you demonstrate authenticity in responding to these four trends?
1. Digital and mobile are not standalone channels. “The sooner businesses and marketing departments can unify all areas of marketing, the quicker revenue will increase.”
2. Data analysis will grow in sophistication. Tools in 2016 will advance such that they will not only aggregate data, but also analyze it. Marketers will “quickly customize their marketing for different target audiences.”
3. Marketing plans will be a “multitouch, multistage customer journey.” Incorporate metrics that allow you to identify best approaches and “scale them for more profitable lead capture.”
4. Emerging advanced customer relationship management tools will help identify sources of leads.
‘Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can’t be faked.’ -- Peter Guber, entrepreneur
Financial providers know digital increases consumer expectations and competition, yet “many banks and credit unions have not made significant changes to their marketing strategies to adequately address the changing consumer and competitive landscape.”
Next, discover the “10 Retail Bank Marketing Considerations for 2016” as identified at merkleinc.com.
Among impactful trends:
Further, a shift in marketing spend from traditional media channels to digital means banks and credit unions will need to better understand consumers and become nimble in marketing outreach.
Credit unions are already poised for success as unique financial providers with an inherent member-centric focus.
It’s up to you to capitalize upon this advantage and determine strategies that best communicate who you are and the differences you might make in the lives of many.